Being the most expensive player in the IPL can literally set you up for life but it can also be a curse. Case in point, these gentlemen, all of whom were some of the most expensive players their teams or any team has ever bought. Unfortunately, their performances simply didn’t merit the cheques.
1. Kevin Pietersen (Rs 7 crore to RCB in 2009)
Pietersen could only manage to score just 93 runs in 6 matches that he played in the season, before being called for England duty. He was handy with the ball picking 4 wickets at an economy of 6.53. However, those numbers don’t do justice to the most expensive player of the year.
2. Andrew Flintoff (Rs 7 crore to CSK in 2009)
Flintoff was meant to join MS Dhoni and Albie Morkel in the finisher role but the all-rounder was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury only following the first 3 games. In the matches he played, Flintoff could manage to score just 62 runs at a strike rate of 116.98 and took 2 wickets at an economy of 9.55.
3. Irfan Pathan (Rs 8.5 crore to DD in 2011)
Being a fast bowling allrounder, Irfan has often been coveted by some of the finest teams in the tournament who were prepared to pay mighty sums of money for the southpaw. However, in this stint for Delhi, he managed to score just 150 runs in 14 innings at an average of 18.75. With the ball, his performance was below par as well with a tally of just 11 wickets.
4. Pawan Negi (Rs 8.5 crore to DD in 2016)
Negi played for Chennai Super Kings in 2015 and had impressed everyone with his all-around performances. He was a good spinner and a handy lower-order batsman. So, while it wasn’t surprising to see DD bet Rs 8.5 crore on him, questions still remained about Negi’s consistency. But he played 8 matches and failed to impress with both the bat and the ball. He managed to take just one wicket and bowled at an economy of 9.33.
5. Dinesh Karthik (Rs 10.5 crore to RCB in 2015)
Karthik is the great enigma of Indian cricket. In the future, people are going to struggle to understand how a player of his talent and calibre manages to underperform as much as he has. Sure, this IPL, he’s tearing everybody a new one. But in 2015, his performance with the bat was poor as he managed to score just 141 runs in 16 matches at an average of 12.81.
6. Tymal Mills (Rs 12 crore to RCB in 2017)
Virat Kohli has always liked having a battery of good fast bowlers in his arsenal. So it wasn’t a surprise when RCB bid aggressively for Tymal Mills and ended up offering him 20 times his base price of Rs 50 lakh. Mills failed to impress though, managing to bag only 5 wickets in 5 matches at an economy of 8.57.
7. Yuvraj Singh (Rs 16 crore to DD in 2015)
Yuvraj was already over his peak and this was towards the end of his career. Still, a lot was expected from a player of his calibre especially when they become the costliest player to have ever been bought at an IPL auction. However, in that season, Yuvraj could only score 248 runs in 14 innings at an average of 19.07 and a strike rate of 118.09.
8. Ben Stokes (Rs 12.5 crores to Rajasthan Royals in 2018)
The finest all-rounder in the world getting sold for an ungodly sum of money isn’t surprising. However, the mighty Englishman could only amass 196 runs from his quota of 13 games that featured the best score of 45 with a strike rate of 121.
9. Glenn Maxwell (Rs 9 crores to Delhi Capitals in 2018)
The Big Show had already set the world on fire with his batsmanship in the T20 tournaments across continents. However, he could deliver was 169 runs from 12 matches at an average of 22.90. Mind you, 95 runs of those came in one single game.
10. Robin Uthappa (Rs 10.9 crores to Pune Warriors in 2011)
The experienced Robin Uthappa was bagged by Pune Warriors for Rs 10.9 crores in 2011 and the opener was expected to play a crucial role in building the new team. But by the end of the season, his figures read 264 runs from 14 games at a strike rate of 126.
Hopefully, teams have become more sensible in spending their money, given that it’s been 10-15 years and it’s high time.