Phil Salt calls IPL 2024 auction snub ‘confusing’ – ‘I expected to be picked up’

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Phil Salt has described his IPL omission as “confusing” after he went unsold at the 2024 mini auction.

Salt was expected to be in high demand following a successful debut season with Delhi Capitals where he averaged 27.25 with a strike-rate of 163.91. But despite a base price of 1.5 crore, the England opener went unsold.

“It was a confusing morning,” Salt said in the moments after he’d scored a second consecutive T20I hundred for England against the West Indies. “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. It’s part of the lottery of an auction, it happens in draft processes as well. There’s a few lads in our dressing room who are going to have a very good Christmas and I’m over the moon for them.

“I was a bit confused but it can happen. There’s no bad cricketers on the list at the IPL. It’s one of those things.”

England opener had purposely slept in late in order to miss as much of the auction as possible, with his agent giving him texts to update on how things were going. The timing of Salt’s snub is particularly incongruous given his international form which has seen him score back-to-back centuries for England who have won two on the bounce to tie their five-match series against the West Indies at two apiece. Until four days ago, Salt hadn’t scored a professional T20 hundred, now he has made two.

“It was probably a little bit of it, subconsciously,” Salt said of whether his IPL snub had motivated his innings of 119 today. “I’m very aware of how lucky I am to be here playing cricket.

“I’m playing good cricket, I’m doing what I came out here to do. More importantly than that, the boys have really pulled together and shown what a good team we are. The West Indies are a very good side that we’re playing against so to win back-to-back games and force the decider in a couple of days’ time, I’m chuffed.”

Salt’s innings of 119 off off 57 balls in Trinidad was the highest-ever score in T20I by an English player and backed up his effort of 109 not out off 56 on Saturday.

Salt had spoken previously of his disappointment at failing to turn starts in an England shirt into big scores, a trait that he has brought to an emphatic close in the last 72 hours.

Alongside captain Jos Buttler, the pair has combined for back-to-back hundred run partnerships, with their effort in Trinidad the fastest century stand in England’s history, coming off just 52 balls.

“When we’re in the middle, it’s more getting me back in my box,” Salt said of Buttler’s advice whilst the pair were batting together. “It’s either ‘you’re doing really well’ or ‘drop it down a gear’. We’ve had some good conversations away from the game, we’ve enjoyed spending time around each other as a group so we’re going nicely.”

England went on to score 267 for 3, their highest ever T20 score and the second highest by a Full Member nation. Salt himself reached his century off 48 balls, muscling 10 sixes along the way.

“I’ve worked specifically on hitting sixes over the off-side. I’ve always been good at hitting the sight screen and going over the leg-side. When Jason Holder took the pace off wide and I hit it over the offside, something Jos said to me was ‘teams can’t bowl to you’. That’s an area I’ve been working on for a good while so it’s good to see it’s working.”

Cameron Ponsonby is a freelance cricket writer in London. @cameronponsonby

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