Indian Premier League (IPL) has changed the fate of uncountable cricketers since it came into existence in 2008. Every season, it puts a bunch of fresh talents under the spotlight from where they flourish as future stars. Once again, the stage is set where more than 500 players are set to go under the hammer. The mega players’ auction is scheduled to be held on February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru and the fans would be eager to see how the teams get shaped.
Like every year, the focus will also be on which player cracks the most expensive deal. Before the action begins, let’s have a look at the list of players who were sold with the heaviest price tag in the past fourteen years.
MS Dhoni – 2008
The opening year of IPL saw the most iconic cricketer – MS Dhoni – fetching the maximum amount in the auctions. He had just won the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa and was expected to pocket a massive amount. He was the first player bought by the Chennai Super Kings for an amount of Rs 9.5 crore.
Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff – 2009
The former England captains stole the show at the 2009 players’ auction as they bagged the deals worth Rs 9.8 crores each. Royal Challengers Bangalore bought Pietersen and appointed him as the captain while CSK got Flintoff onboard.
Shane Bond, Kieron Pollard – 2010
It was a mini-auction that saw former New Zealand pace legend Shane Bond joining Kolkata Knight Riders while Kieron Pollard began his long-standing association with Mumbai Indians. Both of them were bought for Rs. 4.8 crore.
Gautam Gambhir – 2011
2011 was the year that changed the fortunes of Kolkata Knight Riders. They snapped away Gautam Gambhir for Rs 14.9 crore and appointed him the skipper. In return, the Delhi-born cricketer led the team to two IPL titles.
Ravindra Jadeja – 2012
Jadeja’s unending association with CSK began in 2012 when the MS Dhoni-led side bought the left-arm all-rounder for a huge amount of Rs 12.8 crore. Since then, Jadeja has been a crucial cog in the CSK arsenal.
Glenn Maxwell – 2013
The Mumbai Indian paid all-rounder Glenn Maxwell a handsome amount of Rs 6.3 crore in the mini auctions. However, his association with the franchise lasted for just one season.
Yuvraj Singh – 2014
The Royal Challengers Bangalore left behind the record set by KKR to purchase Gambhir in 2011. Yuvraj drew Rs 14 crore for his association with the franchise. But he remained at the RCB camp for just one season and was released ahead of IPL 2015.
Yuvraj Singh – 2015
The former all-rounder went a notch ahead in 2015, bagging a deal worth Rs 15 crore from Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). However, his association couldn’t turn the fortunes of the team.
Shane Watson – 2016
The Australian all-rounder was roped in by RCB for an amount of Rs 9.5 crores. That was the best year for the franchise as they made it to the third final in the history of the tournament. However, they lost to David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Ben Stokes – 2017 and 2018
The Pune-based franchise – Rising Pune Supergiants – purchased England all-rounder Ben Stokes for Rs 14.5 crore. The following year, Stokes went into the auction again and was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12.5 crore. The amount was less than the previous deal but the all-rounder had certainly become one of the richest players of the tournament.
Jayadev Unadkat, Varun Chakravarthy – 2019
The 2019 players’ auction saw two new faces receiving the ‘most expensive’ tag in the tournament/ Rajasthan Royals spent Rs 8.4 crore to get Unadkat while Punjab spent the same amount of money to get the mystery spinner, who was uncapped then.
Pat Cummins – 2020
The now Australia Test captain stole the limelight after getting sold for a whopping amount of Rs 15.5 crore spent by KKR. The right-arm quick had a decent season in the UAE and remained associated for the 2021 season as well.
Chris Morris – 2021
The 2021 players’ auction saw a new record getting set. The veteran South African all-rounder was sold for Rs 16.25 crore, becoming the costliest player in the IPL history. But Morris couldn’t do justice with the price tag. Inconsistency and ineffective performances saw him getting released by the franchise ahead of 2022 season.