Since the inaugural auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL), multiple franchises have gone cut lose on a single player. Often, it happens that a known and a reputed player can bag a million-dollar contract which doesn’t turn out to be surprising. However, on a few occasions, the franchise owners end up splurging big bucks on unknown or relatively unfamiliar faces. In either case, it may backfire or that particular player perfectly justifies the value for money.
The tactic to splash their significant amount of chunk on just one player sometimes does pay off rich dividends. However, in several cases, the buyers have had to bear the brunt of investing heavily on them. The result is that they are released ahead of the subsequent season due to their faulty display and don’t get a second chance. Sadly, few franchises cease to learn and make such errors multiple times that has hampered their chances of lifting the IPL trophy.
Notably, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils have disbursed way out of limits on quite a few occasions from their purse. Such spending has landed them in helpless situations more often than not because of which they haven’t yet won an IPL title.
We take a look at five instances where the IPL franchises overspent on one player:
Ahead of the IPL 2017, two English players in Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills fetched mighty bids in the auction from Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively. The Kiwi-born all-rounder went for a whopping INR 14.5 crore, the highest overseas buy of the lot that year while Tymal Mills didn’t stay far behind as he obtained INR 12 crores.
While Stokes entirely justified his price tag, the left-arm speedster could not. Mills got drafted into the England T20 team for his performances in the 2016 Natwest T20 Blast in which he picked up 15 wickets in 12 games. The Yorkshire-born could snare no wickets on his debut against Sri Lanka, but he conceded only 22 runs off his four overs.
The 27-year old toured India in 2017 to be part of three T20Is. He could make no real impression in terms of wickets; however, his speeds kept elevating and it impressed everyone. As a result, the Bangalore-based franchise sealed his deal. On the docile pitches of India, the left-arm pacer could manage only five wickets in as many games at an average of 30.60.
Going forward, Tymal Mills was dumped by the franchise and hasn’t played in the IPL since. Hence, he was one of the many players in Royal Challengers’ history on who they have overspent.
The Delhi born all-rounder stunned everyone by leapfrogging stalwarts to become the costliest Indian player in the auction ahead of the 2016 season. It was Delhi Daredevils who limitlessly went after Pawan Negi to secure his services for a sum of INR 8.5 crores. The news of Negi as the most expensive Indian recruit in IPL that year came precisely one day after his inclusion in India’s squad for the 2016 World T20.
Before this, the 26-year old had played only 21 games in the IPL and scored 144 runs at a strike rate of 153.19. With the ball in hand, he had snapped 13 scalps with best bowling figures of 4/18. His highlight reel was when he picked up a fifer in the 2014 Champions League T20 final for Chennai Super Kings to help them win the title.
Negi’s form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali that year in which he mustered 173 runs in nine matches, striking at 173, also heralded he could set the tournament on fire. However, contrary to the expectations, all he could manage with the bat was 57 runs in eight games and a single wicket with the ball. Since 2017, he has been featuring for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but his performances have remained indifferent.
Yuvraj Singh’s purchase in the 2014 season by Royal Challengers Bangalore didn’t prove as much a liability as it did for Delhi Daredevils in the following season. After ruling the auction for the seventh season of the lucrative league, the southpaw claimed the throne in the eighth season as well.
The Delhi-based franchise gained the services of Yuvraj for a mind-boggling INR 16 crores, that remains the highest amount pocketed by any player in the IPL auction history. The 37-year old had more than a decent stint with Bangalore, amassing 376 runs in 14 games.
However, his campaign suffered a nosedive during his stay with Delhi, having dragged himself to 249 runs in 14 matches at an average of 19.15. This was yet another instance of Delhi Daredevils spending a substantial chunk of amount on one player only to let them down considerably.
Based on his heroics in the year 2017 for the Rising Pune Supergiants in which he took 24 wickets in 12 games, Jaydev Unadkat became one of the most sought after players. Going into the 2018 season, Chennai and Punjab engaged themselves in a bidding war to rope him in before Rajasthan Royals swooped in to finalise his deal for a price of INR 11.5 crores.
However, this time, the investment on the 28-year old’s backfired. He could come nowhere near to replicating his performances showcased in the previous season. Having played 15 games, Unadkat could scrape through to only 11 scalps at an abysmal average of 44.18. In retrospect, the Gujarat-seamer playing for the yellow army could have augured well on the slow and sluggish tracks in Chennai. unlike the Jaipur pitch which is slightly inclined to batsmen.
Jaydev Unadkat went as the most expensive player for the second successive year in 2019 when Rajasthan Royals dished out an expense of INR 8.5 crores. Similar to the previous season, he yet again turned out to be disappointing, picking up ten wickets in 11 games, averaging 39.90.
The latest auction of the T20 extravaganza was best for known for the Indian recruits ruling the bidding wars. Along with Jaydev Unadkat, ‘mystery spinner’ Varun Chakravarthy bagged INR 8.4 crores. Kings XI Punjab pouched the latter for that enormous a price.
The leggie had put up few exceptional performances in the Tamil Nadu Premier League‘s edition of 2018. His economy rate stood at 4.81, which was one of the best in the tournament. However, considering he was an uncapped player, rarely did anyone expected him to draw gigantic bids.
Unfortunately, in his very opening game in his first over, the 28-year old was taken for 25 runs. In the only match, he featured in; he snared just the one wicket by conceding 35 runs in three overs. Ahead of the upcoming season, Kings XI Punjab liberated him of his services.
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