The IPL Auction is one of the most intriguing events in the cricketing calendar. Every year, hundreds of players watch in anticipation as they stand a chance of securing life-changing contracts.
Inevitably, there are winners and losers after each auction. While some players rejoice in jubilation at the sum they receive, others are left distraught after remaining unsold.
You can follow all the live updates from IPL Auction 2021 here
Unsurprisingly, it's always the marquee players that command the largest sum.
Over the years, numerous stars, both Indian and overseas, have walked away with bucket loads of cash after starting a bidding war at the IPL Auction.
With the 2021 IPL auction just a stone's throw away, here's a look back at the biggest purchase in each of the thirteen auctions that have gone by.
2008: MS Dhoni - $1.5 million
MS Dhoni had just led a young Indian side to an unlikely title win at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and it was no surprise when he became the most expensive purchase at the first ever IPL auction.
The former India captain was bought for a huge sum of $1.5 million (then approximately Rs 6.5 crore).
It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever made by CSK as he managed to lead them to three IPL titles.
2009: Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff - $1.55 million
Two Englishmen became the most expensive purchases at the 2009 IPL Auction as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were picked up by RCB and CSK respectively.
However, neither team's investment paid off as Flintoff pulled out of the tournament having played only three games, and Pietersen ended up having a forgettable season.
2010: Kieron Pollard and Shane Bond - $750,000
The tag of being the most expensive buy at an IPL auction was shared yet again in 2010. Kieron Pollard was snapped up by the Mumbai Indians while the Kolkata Knight Riders roped in Shane Bond.
The duo had contrasting fortunes. Pollard cemented himself as a regular in the Mumbai franchise with his performances. Bond, on the other hand, never played in the IPL again after an average first season.
2011: Gautam Gambhir - $2.4 million
The Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out big bucks for Gautam Gambhir in the 2011 IPL auction, purchasing him for a whopping $2.4 million.
The decision turned out to be an excellent one.
The gutsy southpaw led the Knight Riders to two titles, first in 2012 and then again in 2014.
Gambhir also piled on scores of runs for KKR and ended his IPL career with 4217 of them.
He's one of only ten batsmen to have scored more than 4000 runs in the tournament.
2012: Ravindra Jadeja - $2 million
Ravindra Jadeja became a vital part of the CSK line-up after they managed to secure his services at the 2012 IPL auction.
The all-rounder ended up in the players' pool after his former team, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, went defunct.
The Chennai-based franchise showed no hesitation whatsoever while purchasing Jadeja, spending their entire purse on the all-rounder.
2013: Glenn Maxwell - $1 Million
Glenn Maxwell was just starting to make a name for himself in the international arena when the Mumbai Indians paid a surprisingly large sum to acquire him at the 2013 IPL auction.
Maxwell was an unproven commodity at the time.
Many eyebrows were raised after he was given just three opportunities during Mumbai's championship heist in 2013.
2014: Yuvraj Singh - Rs. 14 Crore
Yuvraj Singh made headlines after the Royal Challengers Bangalore purchased him for a jaw dropping Rs. 14 crore.
With that, the southpaw became the most expensive buy in the history of the IPL.
However, the investment did not pay off for RCB. Yuvraj had a mediocre season with both bat and ball.
He failed to make a big impact and his side finished 7th that year.
2015: Yuvraj Singh - Rs. 16 Crore
Yuvraj Singh shattered his own record the very next year after the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) shelled out an even bigger sum of Rs. 16 crore.
The Royal Challengers had released Yuvraj with hopes of buying him back for cheaper, but after a bidding war, it was the Daredevils that walked away with the prized possession.
Disappointingly though, the Daredevils did not reap the expected returns as Yuvraj had yet another average season.
2016: Shane Watson - Rs. 9.5 Crore
The Australian all-rounder found himself back in the IPL auction pool after Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years.
The Royal Challengers, who were looking to turn their fortunes around by adding some international talent to their roster, shelled out a whopping Rs. 9.5 crore for the Aussie.
Yet again, like most of the players on this list, Watson's numbers that season did not do justice to his pricetag.
2017: Ben Stokes - Rs. 14.5 Crore
Ben Stokes turned out to be the most sought after player at the 2017 IPL Auction and in the end, it was the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant that made the winning bid of Rs. 14.5 crore.
The Englishman repaid the faith his side showed in him as he performed exceedingly well with both bat and ball.
Stokes was also adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) that year.
2018: Ben Stokes - Rs. 12.5 Crore
With the Rising Pune Supergiant going defunct after their stipulated two-year period, Ben Stokes was back in the IPL auction pool.
Expectedly, the demand for a world-class all-rounder had not fallen and Stokes became the most expensive purchase at the IPL Auction for the 2nd time in a row after the Rajasthan Royals bought him for Rs. 12.5 crore.
Unfortunately for the Royals, however, Stokes failed to emulate his performances from the previous season and ended up with fairly mediocre returns.
2019: Varun Chakravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat - Rs. 8.4 Crore
Two Indian bowlers saw themselves thrust into the limelight after they were made the most expensive purchases at the 2019 IPL Auction.
Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner, was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders while Jaydev Unadkat was bought by the Rajasthan Royals.
However, that was where the fairytale ended for both of them as Chakravarthy missed most of the season due to injury while Unadkat had a forgettable season.
2020: Pat Cummins - Rs. 15.5 Crore
Pat Cummins broke Ben Stokes's record for being the most expensive overseas player ever at the IPL after he was signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping Rs. 15.5 crore.
An intense three-way bidding war between RCB, DC and KKR saw Cummins's price hit the roof with the Knight Riders coming out on top in the end.
While the Australian pacer did not set the stage alight with his performances, he had a fairly decent season.
You can follow all the live updates from IPL Auction 2021 here.
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