The cricketing fraternity witnessed another IPL chapter unfold in front of their eyes. Yes, you guessed it right the 13th IPL auction was nothing short of a spectacle as some of the franchises surprised the cricket lovers even before Christmas. The dramatic events which played out in the IPL 2020 auction might linger around for the next couple of months.
Talking about the auction one can forget the numbers involved in it. Especially the purse money spent by the franchises as it has become an important feature of the sell-off. Nowadays every team coin their strategies according to their purse and then get into a bidding war for bagging the commodity in their wish-list.
As a result, there have been instances when teams have to shell out millions for a single player. In the process, those players also become the most valuable products of the league.
Here is the list of 10 most expensive picks in IPL auction history :
1. Yuvraj Singh, 2015 – 16 crores (Delhi Daredevils)
Seeing Yuvraj Singh topping this list might not surprise the cricketing fraternity as he has always been a red-hot product in the IPL market. The southpaw has played for as many as 6 teams in his 12-year IPL career. However, the Punjab cricketer has never set the stage on fire which might be one of his worst memories of his cricketing journey. Still, it never kept him away from elusive contracts and it can be proved from his 2015 IPL contract.
At the time it seemed that the North Indian franchise wanted to make him their marquee player at any cost. So after a rigorous four-way bidding war, they snapped him for a record-breaking deal of 16 crores. With that signing, the Delhi made him the costliest buy of the auction to date. Unfortunately, it didn’t serve well for the team as he only managed 248 runs in the entire season which resulted in an early exit before the 2016 edition.
2. Pat Cummins, 2019 – 15.50 crores (Kolkata Knight Riders)
The latest entrant to this list is none other than the current Australian bowling spearhead, Pat Cummins. In recent times the number one ranked Test bowler has been on a roll and his performances have played a huge role in bringing back the Australian ship to the safe waters. His wicket-taking abilities across formats have already made him one of the elite cricketing talents of this planet. So it might not startle many if anybody would have said that he will be the face of this IPL auction.
However, nobody expected him to fetch the mind-boggling figure of 15.50 crores for his services. Yes, you heard it right the Kolkata franchise spent almost 20 per cent of their purse money to make him the costliest overseas commodity in the history of the league.
There is no doubt that Cummins can become the breakout star of this season but the move can quickly backfire if the speedster breaks down. He has a history of injuries and most importantly he has been a workhorse for the Kangaroos in the last 2 years and that can work against KKR plans.
3. Ben Stokes, 2017 – 14.50 crores (Rising Pune Supergiant)
At the moment Ben Stokes is the biggest cricketing hero of English soil. Not only he led the Three Lions to their maiden 50-overs World Cup but he also played one of the memorable Test innings when the country won the Headingley Ashes encounter earlier in the year. It has been a remarkable year of his decade long career. Coincidentally the same can be said about the year 2017 when Stokes bagged his maiden IPL contract.
The all-rounder hit a jackpot in the form of a 14.5 crores pay-cheque from the Rising Pune Supergiant. Initially, it seemed a hasty move from the franchise to shell out such a huge sum for an unknown IPL commodity but Stokes proved his worth.
He scored more than 300 runs at a strike rate of 145 and also scalped 13 wickets in his 12 appearances. Though he couldn’t stay for the entire season his contributions led the side to the IPL final. Finally, it can be said he became one of the few players who justified his hefty price-tag.
4. Yuvraj Singh, 2014 – 14 crores (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Among the Indian cricketers who have inscribed their names in the history books Yuvraj Singh’s name is right on top of the table. The southpaw will always be remembered for his twin World Cup heroics of 2007 and 2011 respectively. In his prime, very few could have matched his white-ball credentials and that’s why he was always a star attraction in the IPL auctions. It can also be validated from his total IPL earnings of 85 crores.
Notably, one such bidding war for the Punjab cricketer broke out in 2014. Though many teams marked Yuvraj Singh in their wishlist only Royal Challengers Bangalore fulfilled their dreams. In the process, the franchise also paid a whopping amount of 14 crores for his services.
His inclusion to the RCB squad formed one of the elite batting line-ups of the IPL history but it didn’t bore expected results for the team. Though he scored more than 350 runs in the tournament the numbers looked dappled compared to his eye-watering salary.
5. Ben Stokes, 2018 -12.50 crores (Rajasthan Royals)
With his multi-dimensional skillset, the English all-rounder is the perfect ingredient for the slam-bang version of the game. Add to that his undying passion for the game which makes him a rare breed of a cricketer in the current scenario. So it is next to impossible to keep him out of the limelight for even a second. A similar situation panned out in the 2018 IPL auctions as Stokes was going to make his presence felt in the event.
On top of that after a breakthrough debut season, things were going to get heated when Ben Stokes was up for grabs. As expected the franchises went after him and were ready to break their bank. In a turn of events, the Rajasthan Royals who are known for their bargain purchases spent 12.5 crores to make him part of the Pink team.
However, unlike the previous edition, Stokes failed to live up to his billing as he could only muster 196 runs in 13 ties. In the end, it is fair to conclude that one more cricketer bogged down under the weight of expectations.
6. Dinesh Karthik, 2014 – 12.50 crores (Delhi Daredevils)
Right from his teenage days, Dinesh Karthik has been termed a skilful craftsman of the gentlemen’s game. Unfortunately, the keeper-batsman has been unable to unlock his full potential at the senior level. Even after getting multiple opportunities Karthik has repeatedly failed to book a permanent seat in the Indian dressing room. Still, his talent has invariably earned him great things in his cricketing journey including elusive IPL contracts.
He is one of the few cricketers who has been part of the IPL since its inception in 2008. Especially nobody can forget his stint with Mumbai Indians in 2013 where he scored over 500 runs in the season which led the team to their maiden championship.
Hence, it was inevitable that Karthik was going to be a valuable commodity in the 2014 auctions. However, the predictions quickly escalated out of bounds as he a fetched a huge sum of 12.5 crores from the Delhi franchise. Thereafter he scored close to 350 runs in the season but was released in a year due to his high retention price.
7. Tymal Mills, 2017 – 12 crores (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Have you ever heard of a common man getting his hands on the Genie lamp? No, then you must hear the story of Tymal Mills. The England speedster can effortlessly generate pace and bounce on the best of the surfaces. Along with it, his ease of bowling the slower balls with the same action makes him a great T20 exponent. So it was not a surprise when he became a red-hot product in the T20 leagues around the globe.
Even the IPL became one of his pitstops. In 2017 when Mills registered himself for the auction nobody would have believed that he will become the second expensive buy of the event. The left-arm pacer was snapped up by the Bangalore franchise for an insane amount of 12 crores.
It looked like a desperate move from a team that has always been marred by bowling problems. In the end, it proved to be another blunder from the RCB management as he ended up with 5 wickets in 5 games.
8. Jaydev Unadkat, 2018 – 11.50 crores (Rajasthan Royals)
There is no denying the fact that Jaydev Unadkat is one of the consistent performers of Indian domestic cricket. In the last decade or so the left-arm pacer has topped the bowling charts on multiple occasions. Though he started his career with his new-ball skills nowadays he relies on his variations to outfox the batsmen. The prime example is his 2017 IPL heroics where he ended up as the highest wicket-taker for the Rising Pune Supergiant.
With that performance, it seemed that Unadkat might have opened a new door in his cricketing expedition. He also made his comeback to the senior team but what followed shocked the entire cricketing community. In the 2018 IPL auctions, he became a millionaire within a matter of seconds.
In simple terms, he was bagged by the Rajasthan franchise for a mind-boggling figure of 11.5 crores. At the time it was considered a gamble of highest-order and the results proved it as he took a total of 11 wickets in the 2018 IPL. It was a complete turmoil for the Royals as his economy rate made it to the double figures, 10.
9. Gautam Gambhir, 2011 – 11.04 crores (Kolkata Knight Riders)
In true sense, Gautam Gambhir is an underrated character of Indian cricket. In his prime, the Delhi cricketer was one of the batting mainstays of the Men in Blue. More importantly, he played a crucial role when the country won two world championships in this century. Coincidentally his IPL career has also followed the same path as he was usually been under the shadow of the superstars of the Indian cricket except for this one time in 2011.
After spending his initial years in the Delhi dugout Gambhir was destined to hog the limelight in the 2011 IPL mega auctions. Immediately the southpaw attracted the attention of the Kolkata Knight Riders as the franchise was looking to revamp the squad. Although it cost them USD 2.4 (11.04 crores) but the move paid rich dividends in the times to come. In the following years, Gambhir led the Purple team to two championships with his batting prowess and leadership qualities. Under him, KKR became one of the consistent teams in IPL history.
10. KL Rahul, 2018 – 11 crores (Kings XI Punjab)
Though the Royals Challengers Bangalore has been the most inconsistent side in the IPL history they have often produced quality cricketing talents. One being KL Rahul whose international career took off after his stint with the Virat Kohli-led side.
The flamboyant right-hander is considered as an artist who can put a show with his batting credentials. He is one of the few Indian cricketers who has scored a century in all three formats. So when the RCB decided to release him after their disastrous campaign in IPL 2017 it caused a furore.
As a result, he became one of the marquee players of the 2018 IPL auctions. Staying true to his hype the Karnataka cricketer signed a pay-cheque of 11 crores handed over by the Punjab franchise. Immediately, Rahul showed his pedigree and also formed a destructive opening pair with his former RCB team-mate, Chris Gayle. In the last two seasons, he has scored over 1100 runs. Also now he is going to lead the franchise in the 13th edition and from that it can be said that the Punjab team has made a good investment.
Some of these players became overnight millionaires but only a handful of them were able to justify their price-tag.
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