Tom Curran replaces Starc in Kolkata Knight Riders squad

Tom Curran's five-for sealed a thrilling 12-run win Getty Images

Surrey and England fast bowler Tom Curran has signed up for Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2018. It will be his first time in the tournament after he was announced the replacement for Mitchell Starc, who was recently ruled out with injured right shin. Curran is expected to join the Knight Riders squad before their first match on April 8 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Curran went unsold at the auction in January with a base price of INR 1 crore (USD 1,56,000 approx) and was picked by Knight Riders for INR 1.62 crore (USD 2,53,000 approx).*

"I'm thrilled and excited to be joining Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL," Curran was quoted by the Surrey website. "I know from chatting to other players I can learn a lot from being in that environment, skills that I hope will benefit Surrey and my chances of representing England again this year and if selected, for next year's World Cup."

Although he does not bowl express pace, or left-arm, Curran's skills include a deceptive, back-of-the-hand slower ball, and a superb yorker. He used both of them to good effect to pick up a maiden five-wicket haul in a thrilling ODI against Australia at the new Perth Stadium in January.

Curran was a hit in his first T20I as well, taking a wicket with his second ball, against South Africa last June. He is also a handy lower-order batsman, with a strike-rate of 128, accumulated over 51 T20s, and a highest score of 51 not out. Curran is the 11th player from England to take part in the league after Alex Hales was recruited by Sunrisers Hyderabad two days ago. He joins a promising brigade of young fast bowlers in the Knight Riders squad alongside Under-19 World Cup winners Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

The new-look squad is, however, expected to regain some of its old flavour with KKR chief executive Venky Mysore claiming opening batsman Chris Lynn and allrounder Andre Russell should recover in time for their opening game which they will play at home.

*1415 GMT - The figure was added after a release was issued by the BCCI