Jos Buttler England World Cup
England captain Jos Buttler is contracted with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL England Cricket Twitter

A total of six English cricketers have bagged a contract at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, with Australia pacer Mitchell Starc becoming the most expensive player in history.

A month after lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup in India, Starc and his Australia captain Pat Cummins had a big payday during the IPL auction that took place in Dubai on Tuesday (Dec. 19).

Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bought Starc, who has not played in the IPL for eight years, for INR 24.75 crore (£2.3m). The bid for Starc broke the record set earlier in the auction when Cummins was sold for INR 20.5 crore (£1.9m) to 2016 winners Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

England batter Harry Brook, who was earlier released by SRH, had a base price of INR 2 crore (£190,000) and was the subject of a bidding war between Delhi Capitals (DC) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Yorkshire batter eventually landed at DC for £380,000 (INR 4 crore), which was significantly lower than the INR 13.25 crore (£1.25m) he was purchased for by Sunrisers in last year's auction.

English all-rounder Chris Woakes, who previously represented Delhi, had the same base price as Brook and attracted bids from both Kolkata and Punjab Kings (PBKS), who won the bidding way and signed him for INR 4.2 crore (£400,000).

Woakes' fellow all-rounders Tom Curran and David Willey, who recently retired from international cricket, were bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) respectively.

Seam bowler Gus Atkinson, who made his England debut last summer, will join Kolkata after being bought for £94,000, while uncapped Somerset batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore was sold to Rajasthan for £38,000.

England batter Phil Salt, meanwhile, went unsold despite his recent fireworks in the West Indies. A few hours after the auction ended in Dubai, Salt recorded his second consecutive T20I century in Trinidad. Salt's back-to-back centuries in West Indies had a total of 19 sixes – 9 strikes in the third T20I and 10 in the fourth. He admitted to have worked specifically on his six-hitting skills over the off-side.

"It was a confusing morning. I expected to be picked up, having gone there last year and done well and after the year that I've had, but these things happen," said Salt after his snub at the IPL auction.

Delhi had picked Salt for his base price of INR 2 crore (£190,000) in last year's auction. He played in nine matches, scoring 218 runs at an eye-catching strike-rate of 163.91. The wicketkeeper-batter was subsequently released and then entered this year's auction but went unsold.

List of English players sold at IPL auction:

Chris Woakes - Punjab Kings (£400,000)

Harry Brook - Delhi Capitals (£380,000)

David Willey - Lucknow Super Giants (£189,000)

Tom Curran - Royal Challengers Bangalore (£142,000)

Gus Atkinson - Kolkata Knight Riders (£94,000)

Tom Kohler-Cadmore - Rajasthan Royals (£38,000)

England players who went unsold at the auction: Phil Salt, Adil Rashid, Luke Wood and Tymal Mills.

Meanwhile, as many as nine England players were already contracted after having been retained ahead of the IPL 2024: Jos Buttler (Rajasthan), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow (all Punjab Kings), Reece Topley and Will Jacks (both Bangalore), Moeen Ali (Chennai), Jason Roy (Kolkata) and Mark Wood (Lucknow).

After Starc and Cummins, the third biggest purchase at the IPL auction 2024 was New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who was signed for INR 14 crore (£1.3m) by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The reigning champions also picked up Mitchell's Black Caps team-mate Rachin Ravindra for INR 1.8 crore (£170,000) after his breakout performance at the 50-over World Cup in October-November in India.

Australian skipper Cummins is set to have his compatriot Travis Head on his IPL team. Head, who was the Player of the Match in the World Cup final, was bought for around £645,000.

The exact schedule of IPL 2024 is yet to be released but the tournament is expected to run across March and May.