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IPL History: Looking back at how the first-ever player auction unfolded

Anurag Guha
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:11 IST

MS Dhoni was the costliest buy from the 2008 auction
MS Dhoni was the costliest buy from the 2008 auction

The Indian Premier League has come a long way ever since the league's inception back in 2008. When the initial sketch of the Indian Premier League was outlined, there would have been doubts surrounding the reach of the cash-rich league.

However, with 12 editions gone by, every new season of the IPL comes with much fervour, and the carnival of cricket that has endeavoured to revise the dogmas of the classical game attracts viewers and fans from all over the globe.

Certainly, the IPL has transformed the cricketing scenario globally with brand-new players establishing their credentials with some top-flight performances in the league.

The player auctions ahead of each season have proved to produce some exciting moments, with local players earning a fat sum of money, while some big names have also gone unsold in addition to the well-known names earning a big paycheck. 

As we move closer to the player auction ahead of IPL 2020, we take a look back at the highlights from the first-ever IPL auction, which was held on two separate days, 20th February and 11th March 2008 in Mumbai.

Note: The franchises where allowed to sign Indian players who were not a part of the auction at any time, so they have not been included.

Icon Players

Sourav Ganguly was signed as an Icon player by the Kolkata Knight Riders
Sourav Ganguly was signed as an Icon player by the Kolkata Knight Riders

The Icon player concept was introduced for the first and co-incidentally the last time in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. The Icon players list comprised of prominent Indian players, who joined the franchises which represented their home city.

This was done in order to increase the audience of the newly established league and to arouse the enthusiasm of the local fans. The icon players earned 15% more wages than the most expensive player in their respective teams, and a total of five franchises signed Icon players.


Mumbai Indians- Sachin Tendulkar

Royal Challengers Bangalore- Rahul Dravid

Kolkata Knight Riders- Sourav Ganguly

Kings XI Punjab- Yuvraj Singh

Delhi Daredevils- Virender Sehwag

Among these names, Virender Sehwag was a late addition to the list, based on the request of the Delhi franchise.

Also see – BBL schedule

Notable, VVS Laxman, who was also slated to be signed as an icon player rejected the offer from the Deccan Chargers as he reportedly wanted the side to sign multiple quality players than just splurge their money on his services.

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Published 29 Nov 2019, 13:57 IST
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