5 Highest-paid cricketers in Indian Premier League (IPL) History
- Updated: October 31, 2019
The IPL (Indian Premier League) has played host to some of the greatest players, the world over! This is one mega extravaganza where players who perform well garner amazing rewards in terms of their salaries and other perks. Several players have witnessed instant IPL stardom after being picked up for stratospheric salaries, making them the highest-paid in the history of the tournament. While picking players, IPL franchises often set store by the player’s overall records, reputation and skill-sets. Many players receive multiple costly bids from franchises in a race to secure their signatures.
List of 5 Highest Paid Cricketers in the IPL History
- Kevin Pietersen: Already a big global star in his heydays, Kevin Pietersen was a hugely coveted name for many IPL franchises when he came into the fray. He may not have garnered huge bids at every auction although most bids were impressive to say the least. In the year 2009, he and his fellow English compatriot Andrew Flintoff received considerable attention for being the IPL’s highest-paid cricketers. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team purchased Pietersen for a huge INR 9.8 crore approximately or $1,550,000. He played with the team across two seasons and was then listed for auction in the year 2011. He was bought for $650,000 or roughly INR 4.6 crore by the Deccan Chargers although he didn’t play even one match in the season. Pietersen was shifted to Delhi for 2012 and they bought him back for INR 9 crore in the year 2014. He did not play in the 2015 IPL and was back in the auction pool for 2016 where Rising Pune Supergiant bought him for approximately INR 3 crore. The total auction sum for Pietersen stands at INR 24.52 crore for winning bids. He is the 5th highest paid in the history of the IPL auctions.
- Jaydev Unadkat: Unadkat has earned bids of approximately INR 29.6 crore in 8 IPL auctions, making him one of the highest-paid players in the history of the tournament. Unadkat has played just 10 seasons but he has been in the auction pool around 8 times. He was absent from the IPL auction in 2011, 2012 and 2015 ever since he made his debut in the year 2010. He has played till now for 5 IPL teams. A major chunk of this money has been generated in the last couple of auctions. In 2013, Unadkat was signed by RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) for a whopping INR 3.2 crore or $525,000 while in 2014, Delhi paid INR 2.8 crore for him. In 2016, he was bought by KKR for INR 1.6 crore. In 2015 and 2016, Unadkat did not get much game time and Rising Pune Supergiant bought him for only INR 30 lakh thereafter. Yet, 24 wickets in 13 matches meant that he was back in the reckoning. Rajasthan Royals paid a whopping INR 11.5 crore for him in 2018. Even after a disappointing performance in the season, he was released, only for Rajasthan Royals to buy him back at INR 8.4 crore in 2019.
- Ben Stokes: Ben Stokes is at number 4 on the list of highest-paid IPL players in history with INR 27 crore generated in only two auctions. This is a tremendous feat. Ben Stokes only needed two auctions to get a place in this list of most expensive IPL players. In 2017, Stokes came into the auction pool for the very first time and his skills and abilities made Rising Pune Supergiant fork out INR 14.5 crore for him. He played a fabulous role for the team, taking them to the final. He notched up 316 runs and also scalped 12 wickets. In 2018, Stokes was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a huge INR 12.5 crore once again.
- Yuvraj Singh: Yuvraj Singh has always drawn mega bids on the IPL stage. He has notched up INR 48.10 crore in 7 auctions. Yuvraj Singh has played for several teams in the IPL. He was the icon player for Kings XI Punjab in the year 2008, having been purchased for $925,000. After playing for 3 seasons, Pune Warriors bought him for INR 8.28 crore approximately or $1.8 million. After another 3 years, he was picked up for a huge INR 14 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Delhi also bought him for a huge INR 16 crore in 2015. His inconsistency and patchy form brought his value down although Sunrisers Hyderabad still shelled out INR 7 crore for his services in 2016. He played here for two seasons before coming back to his base price. Kings XI Punjab purchased him for just INR 2 crore in 2018 while Mumbai Indians bought him for only INR 1 crore in 2019. Yuvraj Singh is the highest-paid IPL player from the auctions over the last 12 years with his total tally.
- Dinesh Karthik: Dinesh Karthik is one of the most under-rated stars from Indian cricket. His career time coincided with Mahendra Singh Dhoni which meant that he was always on the side-lines of the Indian team and still is. However, Karthik was in high demand across franchises for the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his prowess in wicket-keeping and also as a big-hitter at the death. In 2008, Delhi purchased Karthik for a whopping INR 2.4 crore or $525,000. After 3 years, Kings XI Punjab paid a staggering $900,000 for Karthik while he transferred to Mumbai Indians for a huge INR 12.5 crore in 2012. In 2014 and 2015, Karthik’s value went up tremendously with Delhi picking him up in 2014 for INR 10.5 crore. In 2015, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked him up for INR 12.5 crore. Gujarat Lions purchased him in 2016 for INR 2.3 crore prior to KKR shelling out INR 7.4 crore for Karthik in 2018. Karthik has earned INR 38.85 crore overall, making him the second-highest player in IPL history from auctions.
These are the highest paid IPL players from auction in the last 12 seasons. Yuvraj Singh stands pretty at first place followed by Dinesh Karthik, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes and Kevin Pietersen. With the IPL 2020 auctions coming up on 19th December, 2019, it remains to be seen whether any new records are set.