Predicting the top 3 most expensive batters in SA20 Auction 2024 ft. Paul Stirling

New Zealand v Ireland - ICC Men
Paul Stirling in action for Ireland during T20 World Cup 2022 (P.C.:Getty)

The SA20 League will be back with its second edition in January 2024, but the preparations for the same have already begun for all the concerned franchises. With all six teams having retained the players they wanted, there are still some slots to fill and that will make the SA20 Auction on September 27 an interesting one.

As many as 257 players will go under the hammer in Johannesburg with representatives from 14 countries. While it may be true that bowlers win you tournaments, the crowd sometimes also wants entertainment in terms of the ball flying to all parts of the ground off a batter's bat. The absolute carnage that takes place in T20 cricket also makes for an intriguing watch.

While there are several quality options for teams who need batters, here are three names that could possibly start a bidding war at the SA20 Auction:

#3 Janneman Malan

Local players will be in high demand in the SA20 auction. When you add to the fact that Janneman Malan is a capped South African as well, there would be several teams who would want to bet on his pedigree in the shortest format.

Malan has played 78 T20 games in which he has scored 2135 runs at a decent strike rate of 130.34. He also has a couple of hundreds and then half-centuries to his name, and has represented the Proteas 11 times in T20Is.

The 27-year-old played just three games for the Johannesburg Super Kings (JSK) last season in which he scored just 23 runs. However, teams will know that Malan is a better player than the stats suggest, and having a quality local opener at the top would also help them open up space for an overseas slot.

#2 Brandon King

Another top-order player who could be on the shortlist of many franchises is West Indies' Brandon King. He has already played a lot of T20 cricket around the globe and has also become a regular in the West Indies setup.

In 118 T20 games, King has scored 2824 runs at a strike rate of 132.14 with a couple of hundreds and 18 fifties to his name. He was also the fifth-highest run-scorer in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2023, scoring 288 runs from 10 games at a strike rate of more than 145.

This red-hot form shown by King is improbable to go unnoticed as several teams would want an in-form top-order player.

#1 Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling had replaced the injured Obed McCoy at the Park Royals during the inaugural edition of the SA20 League. He scored 40 runs in the two games that he played at a strike rate of 166.66.

The veteran Ireland batter has always been underrated as he has shown over the years how dangerous and explosive he could be once he gets going. In 338 T20 games, Stirling has scored a staggering 8161 runs, bringing a wealth of experience to the table as well.

With explosive openers becoming a necessity in modern-day T20 cricket, it seems likely that there will be a bidding war to obtain Stirling's services.

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