Most Expensive Players in the IPL

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the country’s top Twenty20 cricket league. Since its inception in 2008, it attracted millions of viewers each year, not only from within India but also expats around the globe. Today, it features prominently on Indian TV, as well as online sportsbooks catering to Indian punters.
In this guide, we will provide an overview of the IPL along with information about the most valuable players right now. If you plan to place a wager on this League, this guide will help introduce you to some of the best players and teams to consider backing.

How Does the IPL Work?

The Indian Premier League was set up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 2007 and held its first tournament a year later. This men’s professional tournament involves a shortened version of cricket, known as Twenty20. Matches are held each year between March and May, where eight teams compete in a double round-robin format followed by playoffs.

Whilst the tournament is certainly popular within India itself, it also has a massive following abroad. It is estimated that over a billion people tune in to watch some of the most anticipated matches each year. Interest in this Indian cricket tournament is further spiked by the fans of foreign players who participate. However, the rules of the IPL state that only up to eight foreign players can participate during a season, which is why the tournament remains a relatively Indian-only spectacle.

Costliest Players in the Indian Premier League 2021 Auction

One of the easiest ways to spot a star player is to look at what it cost to bring him to an IPL team. In the following section, we will highlight the most expensive players in the 2021 season.

1. Chris Morris

Rajasthan Royals

₹16.25 crore ($2.2m)

All-Rounder

Topping the list of the most expensive players in the IPL 2021 edition is Chris Morris. This surprise ranking came as the Rajasthan Royals forked out an impressive sum for the South African all-rounder. With this single transaction, Morris became the most expensive player in the history of the IPL.

Although Morris played for Bangalore in the 2020 season, he was only on the pitch for nine matches. In this time, he took 11 wickets and only managed to score 34 runs. With this track record alone, it is difficult to say exactly with the Royals were ready to give up another international player and pay so much for Morris. However, according to the player himself, the team needed him to be able to change any game in its favour, using either bat or ball. In addition, all-rounders were clearly in high demand during this year’s IPL auction.

2. Kyle Jamieson

Royal Challengers Bangalore

₹15 crore ($2.06m)

All-Rounder

Kyle Jamieson is a 26-year-old all-rounder from New Zealand who had, until February 2021, only four international appearances during a Twenty20 match. Despite this, he became an instant millionaire when Bangalore scooped him up. The 6ft 8in rising star will have a lot to prove, however, he has already shown a powerful right-handed batting ability along with a right-arm fast-medium bowling approach.

3. Glenn Maxwell

Royal Challengers Bangalore

₹14.25 crore ($1.96m)

All-Rounder

Glenn Maxwell is a 6ft Australian all-rounder with previous experience playing in India’s Premier League. In the previous edition of the tournament, the right-handed batter failed to impress his Punjab Kings fans. This, however, did not stop a fierce bidding war between Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings. The victors of this auction are hoping that Maxwell returns in full form, providing powerful batting along with an off-break, right-arm bowling technique.

4. Jhye Richardson

Punjab Kings

₹14 crore ($1.9m)

Bowler

Jhye Richardson is the most expensive bowler in the IPL 2021 edition. It wasn’t surprising to see the 24-year-old Australian reach such a high price tag, given his recent performance in the Big Bash League. During this tournament, he took a total of 29 wickets, five over any other bowler. Richardson is a capable, right-hand fast bowler who has plenty of drive to succeed in his appearance in the IPL.

5. Krishnappa Gowtham

Chennai Super Kings

₹9.25 crore ($1.27m)

All-Rounder

Krishnappa Gowtham is the only Indian player to appear on this list. Born in Bangalore, this 32-year-old all-rounder broke the record for the most expensive Indian player in IPL history. This comes as a result of a fierce, three-way bidding war for the right-handed player with plenty of experience playing in the IPL. Even though he played with the Kings for two games in the 2020 season, the off-spinner will certainly seek to leave his greatest-ever mark on the tournament which has provided him with his biggest-ever paycheck.

Most Expensive Players in the History of the IPL

Although the IPL is a relatively new cricket tournament, it has already shown to be extremely lucrative for its star players. The following are some of the highest-paid players in the tournament’s 14-year history.

1. MS Dhoni

IPL 2008 

Chennai Super Kings

₹9.5 crores 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a former India international cricket captain with numerous victories in the sport. He joined the IPL in its first edition, leading the Chennai Super Kings. During his career, he won the tournament three times, in the 2010, 2011, and 2018 seasons. In 2015, Forbes named Dhoni as the 23rd highest-paid athlete in the world, whilst, in 2011, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the year.

2. Andrew Flintoff

IPL 2009 

Chennai Super Kings

₹9.8 crores 

Andrew Flintoff is an English all-rounder who tied with Kevin Pietersen as the most valuable player in the IPL 2009 season. Although he spent most of his cricket career playing for the English team of Lancashire, the 6ft 4in all-rounder was fiercely fought over by multiple IPL teams. In the end, the Kings scooped him up for what was then a record price, although the player failed to deliver. After a couple of challenging matches, Flintoff was sent home due to a knee injury.

3. Gautam Ghambir

IPL 2011

Kolkata Knight Riders

₹14.9 crores 

Gautam Ghambir is a retired Indian batsman who joined the IPL in its first edition, playing for the Delhi Daredevils. During his cricket career, the left-handed batter reached several milestones, including ranking amongst the top 10 run-scorers in India. Ghambir was also selected as the 2009 Test Player of the Year, and ten years later would receive the  Padma Shri award.

4. Yuvraj Singh

IPL 2015

Delhi Daredevils

₹16 crores 

Yuvraj Singh is a retired Indian batting all-rounder who was the highest-paid IPL cricketer in both the 2015 and 2014 seasons. The son of a fast-bowler, Singh first appeared in the Premier League in 2008 as part of the Kings XI Punjab team. His reputation and capabilities on the field led the Royal Challengers Bangalore to bid a whopping, ₹14 crore in 2014. In that year, Singh was chosen as the FICCI Most Inspiring Sportsperson of the Year Award.

5. Ben Stokes

IPL 2017

Delhi Daredevils

₹14.5 crores 

Ben Stokes is an English all-rounder who first joined the IPL following the season’s highest bid. In that year, Stokes played for the Rising Pune Supergiant, collecting three Man of the Match awards. The following year, Stokes was again the most expensive player of the season, although the Rajasthan Royals were able to get him at a discounted price of ₹12.5 crores.