Ever since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League has held its ground as the world’s most significant domestic cricketing leagues. Apart from proving to be a breeding ground for many talents, the tournament has also staked its claim as one of the richest sporting leagues in the world. From paying handsome amounts to the players to churning out staggering revenues, the cash-rich league has teed off right from the word go on the financial front as well.
On that note, we take a look at the players who ended up fetching the highest bids at each of the IPL auctions from 2008 to 2019.
IPL 2008: MS Dhoni - INR 6 Crore
The inaugural auction of the tournament had MS Dhoni emerging as the hottest property on the show. The former Indian skipper was bagged by Chennai Super Kings for INR 6 crores, which was the highest sum paid to any player in 2008 IPL.
Taking charge of the team amid much hype and frenzy, Dhoni essayed one of the most successful IPL stories as he forged a treasurable bond with CSK and its base city, Chennai. The famed cricketer grew synonymous with the franchise and has led it to three IPL titles and two Champions League titles thus far.
2009: Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff - INR 7.35 Crore
Former English superstars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff fetched fancy numbers at the IPL auction in 2009. Debuting in the cash-rich league in 2009, the flamboyant cricketers piqued interest among multiple franchises as they went all guns blazing trying to get the best bets.
In the end, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings walked away as the successful bidders as they purchased Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff respectively at $1.55 million (approx INR 7.35 crores). However, much to the disappointment of millions of fans, the duo couldn't quite manage to justify the hefty amounts raised, as both the cricketers failed in delivering goods consistently.