Leading up to the auctions in Kolkata next month, there is a lot of excitement amongst the franchise pundits and fans who want their team to demonstrate strength from the very first step towards the league in 2020.
These auctions are expected to open a door to welcome plenty new faces in the Indian Premier League setup as parts of the eight participating franchises. With decent purse amount left, the team managements will look forward to bid wisely and balance their squads inorder to bring the title home. With a lot of speculations already revolving around the auctions, let’s take a quick look at the most expensive buys in each season of the IPL.
1) M.S.Dhoni (2008):
The former Indian captain made headlines in the inaugural season of the league when the Chennai Superkings spent $1.5m (Rs.9.5 crore) to welcome him. The wicketkeeper-batsmen not only led the Indian team to the famous 2007 twenty20 triumph, but also carried CSK to the finals that year. MSD has been worth each penny, especially after his side’s victory in the 2010,2011 and 2018 seasons. There has been no season where Chennai have failed to qualify for the playoffs (except the suspension years).
2) Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pieterson (2009):
The Englishmen attracted the franchises so much that their skills were hired by Chennai and Bangalore ( Flintoff to CSK whereas Pieterson to RCB) for a whopping $1.55m (approx Rs.9.8 crore). However the disappointment grew when Flintoff played only 3 matches scoring 62 runs and claiming 5 wickets. He had to withdraw due to a knee injury.
Kevin Pieterson had a similar unsatisfactory display with only 93 runs in 6 matches.
3) Kieron Pollard and Shane Bond (2010):
After going unsold in the 2009 season, the current West Indies limited overs captain was bought for Rs.4.8 crore by Mumbai Indians. Kolkata Knight Riders spent the same amount to get the Kiwi bowler Shane Bond.
Both of these players had contracting seasons, with Pollard scoring 273 runs in 14 matches at an unbelievable strike rate of 185.71 and Shane Bond rattling at 9 wickets in 8 matches for KKR .
4) Gautam Gambhir (2011):
Amongst the other right things Kolkata has done, one glowing spot in the purchase of Gautam Gambhir in 2011. The franchise changed the dynamics of the league when the welcomed the left handed batsman for Rs.14.8 crores, a record then.
Gambhir not only proved to be a wise decision by helping the side win two titles (2012 and 2014) but also took care of the opening slot with the bat before getting replacing himself with Narine.
5) Ravindra Jadeja (2012):
Now a regular face with the Superkings, the exceptional all-rounder joined the side when CSK bid Rs.12.8 crore to keep other teams away. In the form of Jadeja, CSK bought a package containing a hard hitter, wicket taker and a quick fielder. He did not disappoint Dhoni’s team by scoring 191 runs and taking 12 wickets (including a 5 wicket haul) in 14 matches.
6) Glenn Maxwell (2013):
He was called the million dollar baby that season when the destructive Aussie batsman was bought by Mumbai Indians at $1m (Rs.6.3 crore). However the part time off spinner scored only 36 runs in 3 games that season. His failure at the top kept worrying Rohit Sharma’s team and eventually they let him go in the next auctions.
Losing Maxwell to Kings XI Punjab was considered as a poor decision when the Aussie’s rich form carried KXIP all the way to the finals.
7) Yuvraj Singh (2014 & 2015):
After the Punjab batsman’s comeback, he was honoured with Rs.14 crores by the RCB who definitely needed a mojo to win a title. His services that year included 376 runs, the highest by a Bangalore batsman that year.
Next year after RCB let him off the hook, Yuvraj joined Delhi as a part of a record Rs.16 crore deal. However, the left handed batsman failed to match any expectations by scoring 248 runs and claiming a solitary wicket in 14 matches for the Daredevils.
8) Shane Watson (2016)
Owing to Rajasthan Royal’s suspension that year, their skipper had to make place in some other side and the Royal Challengers Bangalore welcomed him by spending Rs. 9.5 crore for the Australian all-rounder.
Shane didn’t disappoint the team when he claimed 20 wickets with his medium- fast bowling and scoring a mere 176 runs with the bat.Bangalore also managed to reach the finals that year and lost their maiden title to David Warner’s Hyderabad.
9) Ben Stokes (2017 & 2018):
Having been awarded the most valuable player in 2017, Stoksey made every penny worth when Rising Pune Supergiants spent a whopping price of Rs.14.5 crore to hire the services of the English all-rounder. His tally of 316 runs and 12 wickets in 12 matches helped his team to reach the finals. They lost the title to Mumbai Indians by one run.
After the suspension, Rajasthan Royals came back to offer Ben Stokes with Rs. 16 crore that season only to realize that the all rounder had lost his touch from the previous season. Stokes amassed 196 runs and claimed 8 wickets in 13 matches.
10) Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Chakravarthy (2019):
Both of these Indian bowlers were a major disappointment for their respective franchises. Jaydev who was bought for Rs. 8.4 crore managed to claim only 11 wickets in 10 games for the Royals whereas Varun returned with just one scalp, giving away 35 runs in his first match representing KXIP.
Chakravarthy didn’t get to play another game and Unadkat became the highlights of Rajasthan’s miserable season