Cricket fans have witnessed a few cricketers having a big payday at the IPL auction. While prominent cricketers are more likely to become the most expensive IPL player in an IPL season, a few overseas and Indian players have become overnight sensations thanks to franchises splashing cash to secure their services in the auction.
Full List of Most Expensive Players in IPL History from 2008-2024
T20 has revolutionized cricket ever since its inception. The 20-over format struck an instant chord with fans, and the format’s popularity grew worldwide. With IPL’s arrival, T20 franchise cricket boomed, too. Cricketers, even uncapped players, became hugely popular. Their exceptional performances in the league saw franchises queuing up and shelling out money to get their signature. It has resulted in many of the players having huge paydays.
From the legendary MS Dhoni to Australia’s Mitchell Starc, the following is a list of the most expensive players in every season of the IPL:
IPL 2008 – MS Dhoni (₹9.5 Crore)
Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni went for a massive ₹9.5 crore in the first IPL auction to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He had captained the Indian team in the 2007 T20 World Cup, which India won. The wicketkeeper-batter is now the joint-most successful IPL captain, winning the IPL trophy five times – 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023 – for the Chennai outfit.
IPL 2009 – Kevin Pietersen & Andrew Flintoff (₹9.8 Crore)
The two Englishmen, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, went for a massive ₹9.8 crore in the IPL 2009 auction. While Pietersen was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings snapped up Flintoff. Both players couldn’t live up to their price tags for their respective franchises, as Pietersen managed just 93 runs in six innings. On the other hand, Flintoff made just three appearances for the Chennai-based franchise.
IPL 2010 – Kieron Pollard & Shane Bond (₹4.8 Crore)
Shane Bond, the fiery Kiwi pacer, was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders for ₹4.8 crore for the IPL 2010, making him the joint-costliest player for the season along with Kieron Pollard, who went to Mumbai Indians. While Bond had a short stint with the Kolkata outfit, Pollard was with Mumbai Indians for over a decade and won five IPL titles
IPL 2011 – Gautam Gambhir (₹14.9 Crore)
Gautam Gambhir was purchased for a massive ₹14.9 crore by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the fourth edition of the IPL. The left-handed batter created history with the Knight Riders as Delhite led the franchise to glory in the 2012 and 2014 seasons. Also, Gambhir is the leading run-scorer of Kolkata Knight Riders, with over 3000 runs in 108 innings.
IPL 2012 – Ravindra Jadeja (₹12.8 Crore)
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja set the record for most expensive player in the IPL 2012 season after being bought by Chennai Super Kings for ₹12.8 crore. He has been an asset for the CSK since, producing many magic moments with the bat, ball, and in the field. Jadeja hit the winning runs for CSK in the IPL 2023 final, taking the team to its fifth IPL title.
Read More :- Top 5 Most Expensive Players in IPL Auction History
IPL 2013 – Glenn Maxwell (₹6.3 Crore)
Glenn Maxwell joined Mumbai Indians for ₹6.3 crore in the IPL 2013 season. The hard-hitting batter, who only featured for Mumbai in three games in the 2013 edition, has been an integral part of the IPL and plied his trade with Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Maxwell has amassed 2719 runs in IPL at a strike rate of 157.62.
IPL 2014 – Yuvraj Singh (₹14 Crore)
Royal Challengers Bangalore paid ₹14 crore to acquire Yuvraj Singh’s services in the IPL 2014 season, making him the most expensive player in IPL history then. The champion batter, who won a T20 and an ODI WorldCup in India colours, made 376 runs in 14 innings in his only season with the Bengaluru-based franchise.
IPL 2015 – Yuvraj Singh (₹16 Crore)
Yuvraj was at it again! This time, the Delhi Daredevils decided to take the auction game a notch higher, as the franchise paid ₹16 crore to get Yuvraj onboard. The price proved too much, as the left-handed batter failed to live up to the hype, scoring 236 runs in ten matches. He was released the next season and joined Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016 season.
IPL 2016 – Shane Watson (₹9.5 Crore)
Shane Watson was the highest bid IPL player in the IPL 2016 season as Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him for ₹9.5 crore. The Aussie, who was part of the Rajasthan Royals title-winning team in the inaugural IPL, had an outstanding campaign, with the ball picking up 20 wickets. The Bengaluru-based franchise, too, did well as they finished runner-up.
IPL 2017 – Ben Stokes (₹14.5 Crore)
Ben Stokes, one of the best all-rounders of modern times, announced himself on the IPL stage after the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant shelled out ₹14.5 crore for the England all-rounder in the 2017 season. He scored over 300 runs, including a hundred, and took 12 wickets in his maiden IPL season. The Pune outfit reached the finals, losing to Mumbai Indians in a last-ball finish.
IPL 2018 – Ben Stokes – (₹12.5 Crore)
Stokes joined Yuvraj by becoming the highest-bid player in an IPL season for a second time. Rajasthan Royals splashed ₹12.5 crore for the New Zealand-born cricketer in 2018. He couldn’t replicate the previous season’s performances but helped the Royals reach playoffs in their return to IPL after a two-year ban.
IPL 2019 – Varun Chakravarthy & Jaydev Unadkat (₹8.4 Crore)
Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarty grabbed the spotlight in the IPL 2019 auction. The duo were bought for ₹8.4 crore by Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, respectively. Unadkat had a decent outing with the ball for the Royals, while Varun’s maiden IPL campaign got derailed by a finger injury.
IPL 2020 – Pat Cummins – (₹15.5 Crore)
Pat Cummins was the top buy in the IPL 2020 auction thanks to Kolkata Knight Riders paying a whopping ₹15.5 crore. He felt the price tag pressure and couldn’t perform to the best of his abilities, picking up just 12 wickets in 14 matches. The unbeaten 53 against Mumbai Indians remains the lone bright spark from the pandemic-affected 2020 season.
IPL 2021 – Chris Morris (₹16.25 Crore)
Chris Morris stole all the headlines in the 2021 auction after Rajasthan Royals sealed the deal for the South African by spending ₹16.25 crore. He became the first South African international to become an expensive player in an IPL season. Though the Royals failed to reach the playoffs that season, Morris had a good outing. He claimed 15 wickets, which helped him finish as the franchise’s highest wicket-taker that season.
IPL 2022 – Ishan Kishan (₹15.25 Crore)
Mumbai Indians released Ishan Kishan ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. But they wanted to re-sign the wicketkeeper-batter and faced stiff competition. But the five-time champions didn’t let another franchise have him, as they bought back Ishan for a franchise record fee of ₹15.25 crore. He repaid Mumbai Indians’ faith in him by amassing more than 400 runs in the 2022 edition.
IPL 2023 – Sam Curran (₹18.5 Crore)
Punjab Kings set the bar high after acquiring Sam Curran for a record ₹18.5 crore. The Englishman overtook Chris Morris to climb to the top of the highest-bidded IPL player chart. However, Curran struggled to live up to the Mohali-based franchise’s expectations. He managed just ten wickets and close to 300 runs in 14 innings.
IPL 2024 – Mitchell Starc (₹24.75 Crore)
Starc rewrote Curran’s record after Kolkata Knight Riders splashed a mammoth 24.75 crore for the left-arm pacer. While Starc’s return to IPL was on the cards, he wasn’t expected to emerge as the most expensive player in IPL history. Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians triggered the bidding war. However, Kolkata Knight Riders came into the party and outbid Gujarat Titans to make a record purchase at the IPL 2024 auction.
Being the player with the highest bid in an IPL season brings plenty of money and spotlight. But living up to the hefty price tag is a challenging task. The likes of Watson, Stokes, and Ishan have thrived, while Pietersen, Unadakat, and Cummins couldn’t justify their price tag. With the T20 format growing bigger and hugely talented players emerging, franchises will keep splashing money at the auctions.
FAQs about Most Expensive Players in IPL
Who is the player with the highest bid in an IPL auction history?
Mitchell Starc is the highest bid player ever after Kolkata Knight Riders bought the all-rounder for ₹24.75 crore in the IPL 2024 auction.
Who are the most expensive Indian players in IPL?
The most expensive player Indian players in IPL are:
- IPL 2015 – Yuvraj Singh (₹16 Crore)
- IPL 2022 – Ishan Kishan (₹15.25 Crore)
- IPL 2011 – Gautam Gambhir (₹14.9 Crore)
- IPL 2014 – Yuvraj Singh (₹14 Crore)
- IPL 2022 – Deepak Chahar (₹14 Crore)
3-Who was the most expensive player in the first IPL season?
MS Dhoni was the most expensive player in the first IPL season. Chennai Super Kings paid ₹9.5 crore to buy the legendary cricketer.