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Pat Cummins 'Most Expensive Overseas Player Ever' After IPL Auction

Australia's Pat Cummins has become the most expensive overseas buy ever in the Indian Premier League after the Kolkata Knight Riders paid a staggering AU$3.1 million for the fast bowler in an auction in Kolkata.

The 26-year-old, ranked No.1 in Tests, attracted an intense bidding war between the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Capitals on Thursday before Kolkata joined in to bag his services for the 2020 edition of the tournament.

Cummins was part of the Kolkata squad in 2014 and 2015 and last played in the tournament for Delhi in 2017. The Mumbai Indians picked him up the following season but he was ruled out with a back injury.

Pat Cummins has won big. Photo: Getty Images.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the most expensive overseas buy before Cummins when Pune paid 145 million rupees -- AU$3 million --  in 2017 while Yuvraj Singh, the hero of India's 2011 World Cup triumph, got the highest bid for a home-based player of $3.2 million in 2015 from Delhi.

A total of 62 players were sold at the auction for the 13th edition with the eight franchises spending a total of AU$28.6 million.

There was a hefty payday for more Australians with Glenn Maxwell going to Kings XI Punjab for $2.1 million and reigning champions Mumbai paying $1.6 million for paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Glenn Maxwell went to Kings XI Punjab. Image: AAP

Maxwell recently returned to Twenty20 cricket after taking six weeks off from the game to deal with mental health issues and was left out of the Australia squad for next month's limited-overs tour of India.

Australia's one-day captain Aaron Finch joined Bangalore for $897,000 while England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan returned to his old side Kolkata for $1 million.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn twice went unsold before his former team Bangalore picked him up in the last leg at his listed price of $400,000.

Former India leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was the top buy among home-based players, going to MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, while Kolkata signed 48-year-old leggie Pravin Tambe, the oldest player in the auction.