It wouldn't be wrong to say that the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction is as exciting as the tournament itself. Since 2008, when the IPL made its debut, the auction has given the game of cricket some most exciting and interesting stories. From young and inexperienced players becoming millionaires to big names going unsold, the last 14 auctions have seen it all.
The IPL 2022 mega auction is just around the corner and all the 10 franchises are gearing up to choose players from a group of 590 players (370 Indian, 220 overseas). As far as the tournament is concerned, it is likely to start in the fourth week of March.
Ahead of the auctions, Indiatv takes a look at the highest bid players in IPL history so far.
1. IPL 2021- Chris Morris ( Rs.16.25 crore)
South African all-rounder Christopher Morris was the highest bid in the auction for the IPL 2021. Rajasthan Royals (RR) selected Morris for his all-round abilities on the field. He was bought for a whopping sum of Rs.16.25 crore. Although, Morris couldn't justify his worth throughout the season as he grabbed only 15 wickets from the 11 matches that he played at a healthy economy of 9.17. With the bat, Chris managed to score only 67 runs at an average of 13.40.
2. IPL 2020- Pat Cummins ( Rs.15.5 crore)
Australian paceman Pat Cummins became the most expensive bid in the auction for the IPL 2020. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) managed to steal the Aussie Test captain after getting into a competitive bidding war with other teams who were also going after him. Cummins got a handsome amount of Rs.15.5 crore in his pocket. However, Pat could take only 12 wickets from the 14 matches he played at an economy of 7.86. He contributed with his willow in the lower order by hitting 146 runs which included one half-century.
3. IPL 2019- Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Chakravarthy ( Rs.8.4 crore)
The 2019 IPL auction witnessed a rare sight when an uncapped Indian player became a million-dollar baby. Varun Chakravarthy, the Tamil Nadu born player became the shock entree of the IPL auction going for a final selling price of INR 8.4 Crores to Kings XI Punjab after an aggressive bidding war. 2018 auction's big fish Unadkat, once again was not left behind in this year's auction as his old team Rajasthan Royals got him back for a big amount of INR 8.40 Crores. However, Punjab side made a mess of their bid as Varun played just a single match in that season grabbing 1 wicket to his name. Unadkat again had an ordinary season as he could clinch only 10 wickets from the 11 matches he played at an economy of 10.66.
4. IPL 2017, 2018- Ben Stokes ( Rs.14.5 crore, Rs. 12.5 crore)
Ben Stokes went on to become the highest bid in the auctions for two successive years IPL 2017 and 2018. In 2017, the biggest spenders Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the player auction made an ambitious bet for English all-rounder for Rs. 14.5 crore— drastically higher than his base price of Rs. 2 crore. In 2018 auction, Ben Stokes was bought by Rajasthan franchise for a whopping sum of Rs 12.5 crore. Ever since 2018, he has scored 604 runs and got 16 scalps to show for his bowling.
5. IPL 2016- Shane Watson ( Rs.9.5 crore)
Shane Watson received the highest bid in the Indian Premier League 2016 auction after the Australian all-rounder was snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 9.5 crore. Strangely, Watto could not perform with the bat in the middle-order as he scored just 179 runs from 16 matches averaging 13.76. However, with the ball, he was the star performer for his team as he managed to get 20 wickets at an economy of 8.58.
6. IPL 2014, 2015- Yuvraj Singh ( Rs.14 crore, Rs.16 crore)
Yuvraj Singh had a huge billing in the 2014 and 2015 seasons going for the massive figures for two consecutive years in the IPL. He was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 14 crore in the 2014 auction where he scored 376 runs in 14 matches averaging 34.18. In 2015, Delhi Daredevils then bought the India all-rounder with the record price tag of Rs.16 crore. He played 14 matches for DD, scoring just 248 runs at an average of 19.07. In two seasons, he could take just 6 wickets.
7. IPl 2013- Glenn Maxwell ( Rs.6.3 crore)
In 2013, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell stole the show after fetching whopping Rs. 6.3 crore. Maxwell was bought by Mumbai Indians after fierce bidding war with Hyderabad Sunrisers. But, that was a waste of an opportunity by MI as they didn't play Maxwell consistently and he was allowed to play only 3 matches in the whole season. The hard-hitter could score just 36 runs with his willow.
8. IPL 2012- Ravindra Jadeja ( Rs.12.8 crore)
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja bagged the top price of Rs. 12.8 crore in the IPL auction for season five. Chennai Super Kings bought the player after beating Deccan Chargers in a tie-breaker that followed some heavy bidding. Jadeja scored 191 runs in the 19 matches he played, while he took 12 wickets at an economy of 7.80.
9. IPL 2011- Gautam Gambhir ( Rs.14.9 crore)
India opener Gautam Gambhir was the highest bid in the IPL 2011 auction. Gambhir, who played for the Delhi team till 2010 season, was bought by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's IPL team Kolkata as their skipper for a whopping Rs 14.9 crores. In his debut season with KKR, the opener hit 378 runs averaging 34.36 in the 15 matches he played.
10. IPL 2010- Kieron Pollard, Shane Bond ( Rs. 4.8 crore)
West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard and New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond fetched the highest price of Rs. 4.8 crore in the relatively low-key player auction in the IPL 2010. Pollard managed to hit 273 runs from the 14 matches he played for his first franchise Mumbai Indians at a strike rate of 185.71. Bond had an average season for his franchise KKR as he grabbed 9 wickets from 8 matches at an economy of 7.22.
11. IPL 2009- Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff ( Rs.9.8 crore)
Former England captains Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff became the highest-priced players in the auction of IPL 2009 season. They both earned a massive figures of Rs. 9.8 crores from their respective franchises. Pietersen was bought by the Royal Bangalore Challengers, while Flintoff was snapped up the Chennai Super Kings for the same price. Pietersen scored 93 runs from 6 matches at an average of 15.50. The duo have retired from cricket and now are commentators.
12. IPL 2008- MS Dhoni ( Rs.9.8 crore)
After winning the T-20 World Cup 2007 for India, Chennai Super Kings roped in MS Dhoni as their captain in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2008 season. Dhoni was paid a handsome amount of Rs. 9.8 crore by the franchise. He had a great debut season with CSK, where he scored 414 runs from 16 matches at an average of 41.40, which also included two half-centuries. CSK stood third in the opening season of the IPL.
KL Rahul is among players who have been picked up by the Lucknow franchise ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2022. The 29-year-old Rahul will also captain the side in the upcoming edition. He has been bought for a sum of INR 17 crore.