There is a general perception that expensive purchases are worth every penny spent. We tend to judge everything based on the cost involved in acquiring them rather than on their utilities. Even in the sports arena, it is believed that players with high price tags not only deliver what’s required but also add to brand value. As the IPL auction for the current edition is about to kick in, there are several players in the higher price brackets and their fortunes will further go north as the teams scramble among each other to grab the prized catches. But do these expensive buys justify the cost borne by the franchise owners? Let us look at some of the costliest players from the previous IPL editions to reach a logical conclusion.
Chris Morris (16.25 Crore/2021)
The South African all-rounder could not believe his luck when he emerged as the most expensive player in IPL history last year. Rajasthan Royals were in a desperate mode, so they did not mind shelling out an astronomical sum to reverse their miserable record in the IPL so far. But, Morris failed to justify his heavy price tag as he scored just 67 from 11 games and gave away runs generously at an economy rate of over 9 while taking 15 wickets in the 2021 season. However, he hung up his boots recently, so he won’t feature in the future IPL events as a player.
Yuvraj Singh (16 crore/ 2015)
The Punjab southpaw with an array of strokes at his disposal was a highly sought after player in the past IPL seasons. However, the huge money for which he was snapped up by the Delhi franchise in 2015 took everyone by surprise as it followed a salary of 14 crores, which RCB shelled out in the previous year to have him on board. The big amount did not translate to anything out of the ordinary as Yuvraj scored just 248 runs from 13 innings and the then Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals now) failed to make it to the playoffs for the umpteenth number of times since the inaugural edition in 2008. Resultantly, the Delhi franchise relieved him immediately afterwards.
Pat Cummins (15.5 Crore/2021)
The SRK-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were having average to below-average runs in the IPL seasons since winning the trophy in 2014. To strengthen their bowling attack they did not mind flattening their wallet in 2020 by coughing up a huge amount for the Australian pacer Pat Cummins. However, he got just nine wickets from seven games in the 2021 edition at an economy rate of 8 plus and was not available for the second part of the IPL in UAE due to Covid restrictions as well. Even in the previous edition while playing for the same team, he had just 12 scalps from 14 games at an economy rate of close to 8. So, rightly, the Kolkata team chose not to retain him this time.
Kyle Jamieson & Glenn Maxwell (15 & 14 Crores/ 2021)
The RCB have made it a habit of loosening their purse strings regularly. So in 2021, they paid a bomb to bring in Jamieson and Maxwell. However, the Bangalore-based franchise’s expensive bids hardly made a difference to their fortunes as their further progress in the league was stalled by the KKR in the playoffs. The New Zealander all-rounder was relieved for the current season as he managed a meagre 65 runs from nine matches at a strike rate of 118 and got 9 wickets at an economy rate of close to 10. However, The Australian all-rounder with 513 from 15 matches was retained for the present edition by the RCB.
Ben Stokes (14.5 Crore/2017)
The England all-rounder for the varieties he brings into a side has always been an attractive proposition for the IPL teams. So, in 2017, a one-year-old temporary IPL team, Rising Pune Supergiants doled out a whopping sum for England’s “Miracle-Man” Stokes. Unlike other costly purchases, the English cricketer lived up to the top billing by scoring 316 runs from 12 games at a strike rate of almost 143 and snaring 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.18. The very next year, the RPS did not feature in the IPL, so there was no question of retaining Stokes. But again, in 2018, the RR paid 12.5 Cr to the English all-rounder for his utilities as an ideal T-20 player.