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Most expensive buys of each IPL auction from 2008-2023

Sam Curran, IPL 2023 auction
Sam Curran has broken the record for the most expensive IPL buy. Pic: BCCI

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 auction concluded on Friday, December 23, in Kochi after some action-packed activity on the bidding table. Out of the 405 cricketers who were shortlisted for the auction, 80 were sold, with 29 of them being overseas cricketers. In all, the 10 franchises spent a combined amount of ₹167 crore on a day that saw quite a few bidding wars.

England all-rounder Sam Curran became the most expensive purchase at the mini-auction. He was sold to his former franchise Punjab Kings (PBKS) for a whopping ₹18.50 crore.

Curran was expected to be in huge demand at the auction after his exploits at the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, where he was named Player of the Tournament as well as Player of the Final for his brilliant bowling performances.

Apart from becoming the highest-paid player at the IPL 2023 auction, Curran also broke the record for the most expensive buy in IPL auction history.

Former South African all-rounder Chris Morris was purchased by the Rajasthan Royals for ₹16.25 crore ahead of the 2021 season.

Following the conclusion of the 2023 auction, let’s look back at the most expensive buys from each IPL auction from 2008-2023.


2008: MS Dhoni (CSK) - 9.5 crore

MS Dhoni in action during the 2019 edition. Pic: BCCI
MS Dhoni in action during the 2019 edition. Pic: BCCI

Former India captain MS Dhoni became a huge star after leading India to victory in the first-ever T20 World Cup in 2007.

It wasn’t surprising that he was paid a handsome sum of ₹9.5 crore by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the inaugural edition.

The veteran keeper-batter remains the captain of the team and is one of the most successful leaders in the T20 league, having led the franchise to four title triumphs.


2009: Kevin Pietersen (RCB), Andrew Flintoff (CSK) - 9.8 crore

The England duo of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen were the joint-highest buys at the IPL 2009 auction.

While the former was purchased by CSK, the latter was sold to RCB. Neither of the cricketers proved to be worth the money.

Flintoff took two wickets and scored 62 runs in three matches. Pietersen totaled 96 runs in six games.


2010: Shane Bond (KKR), Kieron Pollard (MI) - 4.8 crore

Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond and retired West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard were the most expensive purchases at the 2010 IPL auction. Both were picked for ₹4.8 crore each.

Bond, who claimed nine wickets in eight games for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), is the current bowling coach for the Mumbai Indians (MI).

Pollard went on to establish himself as a key member of MI as the franchise became the most successful in IPL history, winning five titles.


2011: Gautam Gambhir (KKR) - 14.9 crore

Gautam Gambhir celebrates a wicket with Sunil Narine. Pic: BCCI
Gautam Gambhir celebrates a wicket with Sunil Narine. Pic: BCCI

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was purchased by KKR for ₹14.9 crore at the IPL 2011 auction.

It proved to be a masterstroke as Gambhir led Kolkata to both their IPL wins so far, in 2012 and 2014.

The left-handed batter led from the front in 2012, hammering 590 at an average of 39.33 and a strike rate of 143.55 with six fifties to his name.


2012: Ravindra Jadeja (CSK) - 12.8 crore

Chennai purchased all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja during the 2012 auction for ₹12.8 crore.

The franchise has reaped rewards for the decision as Jadeja has been an indispensable part of CSK over the last decade.

England’s Sam Curran tops the list 🤩#CricketTwitter #IPL https://t.co/ouMyu4m3uM

He has won innumerable games for the team with his batting, bowling, and, at times, even his electrifying fielding skills.


2013: Glenn Maxwell (MI) - 6.3 crore

Australia’s batting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has always been in huge demand in T20 leagues owing to his versatile skills.

Mumbai shelled out ₹6.3 crore for him at the IPL 2023 auction. Maxwell, however, had a poor tournament, managing only 36 runs in three matches.

After struggling for various franchises, he finally tasted success for RCB in 2021, scoring over 500 runs that season.


2014: Yuvraj Singh (RCB) - 14 crore

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Pic: BCCI
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Pic: BCCI

India’s white-ball legend, Yuvraj Singh, was bought for ₹14 crore by RCB at the 2014 IPL auction.

He had a decent season, scoring 376 runs in 14 games and picking up five wickets with his left-arm spin.

It was the only year Yuvraj represented Bangalore.


2015: Yuvraj Singh (DC) - 16 crore

For the second year in a row, Yuvraj was the most expensive purchase at an IPL auction. Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) shelled out ₹16 crore for him at the 2015 auction.

Yuvraj scored 248 runs in 14 games and managed only one wicket. He subsequently represented Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and MI before retiring after the 2019 edition.


2016: Shane Watson (RCB) - 9.5 crore

Bangalore spent ₹9.5 crore to purchase the services of former Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson at the 2016 auction.

Watson managed 179 runs in 16 games and claimed an impressive haul of 20 wickets at an average of 24.25.

He then went on to represent CSK and even won the title with them in 2018.


2017: Ben Stokes (RPS) - 14.5 crore

Ben Stokes is seen batting for Rising Pune Supergiant. Pic: BCCI
Ben Stokes is seen batting for Rising Pune Supergiant. Pic: BCCI

Talismanic England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the highest-paid player at the IPL 2017 auction on somewhat expected lines.

He was picked up by the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) for Rs ₹14.5 crore. Stokes scored over 316 runs and claimed 12 wickets as RPS ended up as runners-up.


2018: Ben Stokes (RR) - 12.5 crore

After Yuvraj, Stokes became the second player to become the most expensive purchase in consecutive IPL auctions.

He was picked up by the Rajasthan franchise for ₹12.5 crore in the 2018 auction. Stokes, though, had a rather disappointing season, taking eight wickets and scoring 196 runs.

Having parted ways with the Royals, he will now represent CSK.


2019: Jaydev Unadkat (RR) & Varun Chakravarty (PBKS) - 8.4 crore

The Indian duo of Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Chakravarty, who weren't star names as such, were each picked for ₹8.4 crore in 2019.

While Rajasthan purchased left-arm pacer Unadkat, leg-spinner Chakravarty went to PBKS.

Unadkat was expensive but still claimed 10 wickets. Chakravarty was discarded by Punjab after just one game.


2020: Pat Cummins (KKR) - 15.5 crore

Australian pacer Pat Cummins was purchased by KKR for ₹15.5 crore at the IPL 2020 auction.

There were high hopes for the bowler, but he ended up having a disappointing season.

Cummins claimed 12 wickets, with most of them coming in the second half of the season.


2021: Chris Morris (RR) - 16.25 crore

Former Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris. Pic: BCCI
Former Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris. Pic: BCCI

Rajasthan are known for making some strange decisions at IPL auctions.

They went after South African all-rounder Chris Morris at the 2021 auction and spent ₹16.25 crore on him, a then-record for the most expensive buy.

He did claim 15 wickets but had an economy of 9.17.


2022: Ishan Kishan (MI) - 15.25 crore

Having released him ahead of the IPL auction, MI bought back batter Ishan Kishan, spending a whopping ₹15.25 crore for him.

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The keeper-batter had a mixed campaign with the bat and ended up scoring 418 runs with three fifties, even as MI finished last in the points table.


2023: Sam Curran (PBKS) - 18.50 crore

Picked up by PBKS for ₹18.50 crore, Curran is now the most expensive player in IPL history.

The England all-rounder had a memorable T20 World Cup 2022 campaign and played a huge role with the ball in the team’s win.

He has represented Punjab before and subsequently played for CSK.


Also Read: One and only MS Dhoni! 5 instances of Indian cricketers expressing their utmost admiration for MSD

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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