The Indian Premier League (IPL) returns for its 14th season on February 18, and the auction, the first step in the lucrative league, will take place in Chennai. The auction day has seen many breakouts, pricey buys, and some of the top players go unsold in the last 13 years, and the number of players in the auction pool this season promises to be another humdinger.
So, before we get started on the next auction, let’s have a look at the most costly purchases in the IPL’s history.
Yuvraj Singh – 16 crores
Yuvraj Singh, India’s flashy left-handed all-rounder, was bought by the then-Delhi Dardevisl for a whopping 16 crores before the 2015 IPL. The southpaw, on the other hand, had a disappointing season, scoring only 248 runs in 14 games for an average of 19. Before the next season, Yuvraj was released by the franchise.
Chris Morris -16.25 crores
In the IPL 2021 auction, Rajasthan Royals paid a record 16.25 crores for Chris Morris, the South African all-rounder. The Royals were involved in a ferocious bidding war, but came out on top to acquire the all-rounder for the most expensive purchase in league history.
Pat Cummins -15.5 crores
Pat Cummins, an Australian fast bowler, was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders, who entered the bidding war late but eventually won the Sydney-born pacer for a hefty sum. The fast bowler set a new record for the most expensive overseas pick, breaking the previous record set by England star all-rounder Ben Stokes in 2017.
Ben Stokes – 14.5 crores
Ben Stokes, a New Zealand-born English all-rounder, cost the Rising Pune Supergiant 14.5 crores in 2017. Until last year, when the KKR bought Cummins for a greater price, Stokes was the highest paid overseas player in the IPL auction.
Dinesh Karthik – 12.5 crores
The Delhi Daredevils paid 12.5 crores for the Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman in the 2014 season, after he had previously played for six other clubs in the league. Karthik had already played for the team in the first three seasons.
Jaydev Unadkat – 11.5 crores
After scoring a hattrick for the Supergiants in 2017, the left-arm bowler from Saurashtra was a desirable property in the 2018 auction. In that auction, the Rajasthan Royals were in a spending mode, spending 11.5 crores to acquire the left-arm quick.
Gautam Gambhir – 11.4 crores
Gambhir was purchased by the Knight Riders for a staggering INR 11.4 crores after being and captaining his local side Delhi. Gambhir was then named captain of the franchise, and he went on to lead them for seven years in a row, winning two championships in 2012 and 2014.
KL Rahul – 11 crores
The franchise paid 11 crores for the current Punjab Kings captain at the 2018 mega auction. Rahul enjoyed a breakout season with the team, collecting 654 runs in 14 games and causing a stir in the league with his powerful batting. After releasing Ravichandran Ashwin at the end of the 2019 season, Rahul was named captain of the team two years later.
Manish Pandey – 11 Crores
Manish Pandey, Rahul’s statemate, also went for huge money in the same auction, with the Sunrisers Hyderabad paying INR 11 crores for the middle-order player. Even though he didn’t have a spectacular first season with SRH, the franchise’s faith in him paid off as he began to show his form in succeeding seasons.