Since its introduction in 2008, IPL has financially changed many cricketers’ lives, and it is reestablishing the sport on the world stage. The experienced players whose careers looked as if they might end soon got a chance to reestablish themselves, while the new players got a platform to showcase their talent, getting the opportunity to play for the national side. When it comes to the financial aspects, players, new or experienced, receive a significant boost in terms of future security, helping them to be financially secure for the future.
In this piece, we will discuss the highest-bought players in the auctions of every single edition starting from the inaugural year, 2008.
Some of these players on the list were starting to make an impression during that period when they were bought for a hefty sum by the franchises, while some were already seasoned campaigners. Amidst this, one thing is sure: their IPL auction price made them a big name in cricketing circles. The prices at which these players were bought were baffling, and to date, these players remain on the highest-paid list in IPL history. We elaborate on these players in detail.
IPL 2008: MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) – 9.5 crores
After a successful 2007 T20 world Cup in South Africa and a win in the Tri-Series in Australia in March 2008, the former skipper was the centre of attraction in the Cricketing world. The wicket-keeper batsman was bought for 9.5 crores by Chennai Super Kings. He became the highest-paid player during the 2008 season.
IPL 2009: Andrew Flintoff (Chennai Super Kings) & Kevin Pietersen (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 9.8 crores
The two Englishman attracted the spotlight in the 2009 auctions as both players were bought for a significant sum of 9.8 crores each which surprised many. Flintoff was bought by Chennai Super Kings, while Pietersen was made the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
IPL 2010: Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians) & Shane Bond (Kolkata Knight Riders) – 4.8 crores
Pollard was just beginning to make his presence felt in the shorter format, but Mumbai Indians took a chance and were successful. On the other hand, Shane Bond was already a big player then, but his experience was why Kolkata Knight Riders bought him. The two franchises purchased both players at 4.8 crores each.
IPL 2011: Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders) – 14.9 crores
Buying Gambhir was like a shot in the arm for the Kolkata-based franchise. The former India opener was also made the captain who helped the team win two IPL titles. The left-hander was bought for a hefty sum of 14.9 crores in 2011. His clever bowling changes and ability to get the best out of an ordinary player gave satisfactory results for the side. The left-hander also contributed decently for the side.
IPL 2012: Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings) – 12.8 crores
“Sir Jadeja,” as his teammates fondly call him, has played a big role for Chennai Super Kings since he was bought by the franchise in 2012. The all-rounder was bought for a sum of INR 12.8 crores, which obviously surprised everyone, including himself but looking at his performances for the franchise all these years, the price is understandable. He was retained for a sum of 16 crores in 2022.
IPL 2013: Glenn Maxwell (Mumbai Indians) – 6.3 crores
The Mumbai-based franchise paid the Australian all-rounder a hefty INR 6.3 crores, but he played in only one season for the franchise. In 2021, Maxwell was a valuable addition with his destructive batting and clever off-breaks. The all-rounder is a brilliant fielder in every position, especially at covers and the boundary.
IPL 2014: Yuvraj Singh (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 14 crores
Royal Challengers Bangalore broke all records when the franchise bought the flamboyant left-hander for a sum of INR 14 crores in 2014. However, he played just one season for RCB.
IPL 2015: Yuvraj Singh(Delhi Daredevils) – 15 crores
Ahead of the 2015 season, Yuvraj was bought by Delhi Daredevils for a massive sum of INR 15 crores. The left-hander, however, couldn’t make a big impression with the bat.
IPL 2016: Shane Watson (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 9.5 crores
The burly all-rounder played a significant role with the ball in getting RCB to the finals of that season. He took 20 wickets in that season. The Australian was bought for a sum of INR 9.5 crores.
IPL 2017: Ben Stokes (Pune Super Giants) – 14.5 crores
The England all-rounder was the highest-paid player in the IPL 2017 when it comes to the auctioned players. He was bought for INR 14.5 crores in 2017 by Pune Supergiants. The England all-rounder adds width with his pace bowling as well as fearless batting.
IPL 2018: Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals) – 12.5 crores
The England all-rounder was again the highest paid amongst the auctioned players, but this time, he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a sum of INR 12.5 crores.
IPL 2019: Jaydev Unadkat (Rajasthan Royals) & Varun Chakravarthy (Punjab Kings) – 8.4 crores
Rajasthan Royals bought Jaydev Unadkat for a sum of INR 8.4 crores in 2019, while Varun Chakravarthy was also purchased at the same price in that same season. Chakravarthy’s price surprised many.
IPL 2020: Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) – 15.5 crores
Cummins was bought for a sum of INR 15.5 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders. The pacer had a mixed 2020 season, but his performances prompted the franchise to retain him in the next season.
IPL 2021: Chris Morris (Rajasthan Royals) – 16.25 crores
The former South African all-rounder’s performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore prompted Rajasthan Royals to buy him for a sum of INR 16.25 crores. Surprisingly he was released by RCB ahead of the 2021 season, so Rajasthan Royals took this opportunity.
IPL 2022: KL Rahul (Lucknow Giants) – 17 crores & Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians) – 16.25 crores
Rahul has showcased his adaptability in all formats, which makes him a center of attraction in every IPL auction. The right-hander’s brilliant performances with the bat while playing for Punjab Kings tempted Lucknow Supergiants to buy him ahead of the 2022 IPL tournament. He was signed for a sum of INR 17 crores, making him the highest-paid player in the 2022 season.
Alongside Rahul, Ishan Kishan was another expensive player among the auctioned ones in 2022. Mumbai Indians bought him for a sum of INR 16.25 crores. The left-hander can destroy any bowling attack with his aggressive style of play and has showcased calmness behind the stumps with his neat glove work.