Buying costliest player no guarantee of winning IPL – Times of India


Every year, IPL franchises break the bank to bag the most sought-after players who they believe will make a difference to their fortunes. But teams who get the most expensive player of the auction might want to pause before uncorking the bubbly.
With the sole exception of 2013, when Mumbai Indians got Glenn Maxwell for $1 million, the team that bought the most expensive player in an auction has never won the IPL title in the same year.
First, a caveat. We haven’t looked at ‘icon players’ or retained players, only the players who came up for auction each year.
Now, let’s look at the records. In the very first auction, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the most expensive player and his team Chennai Super Kings finished as the tournament’s runner-up. In 2009 Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen were the most expensive players as both fetched $ 1.55 million each – even higher than Dhoni who had been sold for $ 1.5 million. Flintoff’s CSK lost in the semis while Pietersen’s Royal Challengers Bangalore was that year’s runner-up. In 2010 Shane Bond and Kieron Pollard were the most expensive players but Bond’s Kolkata Knight Riders ended the season in 6th place on the points table while Pollard’s Mumbai Indians were the runner-up.
In 2011 Kolkata Knight Riders paid a whopping $ 2.4 million to buy Gautam Gambhir but their season ended in the elimination final. The team was placed fourth in the final points table.
In 2012 CSK bought Ravindra Jadeja for $ 2 million and ended as the tournament’s runner-up. The year 2013 was the only exception when a team buying the most expensive player also emerged as the winner.
Since 2014 the auction is being done in Indian rupees instead of dollars and Yuvraj Singh was the most expensive buy for both 2014 and 2015 – firstly by RCB and later by Delhi Daredevils. Both teams ended the season in the 7th spot on the final points table. Shane Watson was the most expensive player of 2016 and his team RCB finished as the tournament’s runner-up. The story was repeated in 2017 when Ben Stokes was the most expensive player and his team Rising Pune Supergiants was the runner-up.
In 2018 as well Stokes was the most expensive player but Rajasthan Royals got eliminated in the eliminator round finishing fourth in the final points table. In the last four editions of the game, it seems that the highest buys in the player’s auction are inversely proportional to the team’s performance in the tournament.
Varun Chakaravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat were the most expensive buys of 2019 and went for Rs 8.4 Cr to Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
Their teams however ended at the 6th and 7th spot on the final table. In 2020 Pat Cummins went for Rs 15.5 Cr to KKR which ended at the fifth spot in the final table.
Similarly, in 2021 Chris Morris was the most expensive buy and Rajasthan Royals finished in the seventh spot. In 2022 Mumbai Indians bought Ishan Kishan for Rs 15.25 Cr and finished the season at the bottom of the points table.





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