IPL7: Prize catch

Written by Abhishek Chakraborty | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 16 2014, 23:14pm hrs
Big money moves at IPL auctions where franchise owners splash the cash to bag the best players for the season. But do they prove to be the moolahs worth We look at the top five buys from each of the past three editions to find out

Amid the raging controversies of match-fixing and betting miring the seventh edition of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, an extravagant players auction held earlier in the week drew the best of the cricketing world, not to forget a whole lot of money. While flamboyant Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh bagged the highest bid of R14 crore from Vijay Mallya-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik came a close and surprise second at R12.5 crore, bought by Delhi Daredevils, which had decided not to retain a single player before the auction. Controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose England career had come to an abrupt end after a disastrous Ashes campaign recently, fetched R9 crore, bought by Delhi Daredevils, the franchise he played for in the last season.

Just before the start of the star-studded auction, where Bollywood actors and business tycoons were present, IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal had said, Its a grand affair and in every edition, IPL has grown bigger. The seventh edition would be no exception; it will be grander and more entertaining for the fans and franchises.

However, as the saying goes, behind every successful story, there is a story, IPL, too, has had its share of unpleasant moments. Since the inception of the popular T20 tournament seven years ago, the league has been mired in controversies, one after another.

Be it the suspension and consequent life ban of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi for

alleged acts of individual misdemeanours, the termination of the Kochi franchise in

2011 for breaching BCCIs terms of agreement, the spot-fixing saga involving S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, or the latest alleged role of BCCI president Srinivasans son-in-law and CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, IPL has traversed a long and difficult road so far.

Having said that, these issues could never impact the amount of money that went into the making of the big, fat cricketing jamboree that IPL has become today. From R4.8 crore going to the winning team in 2008, to R10 crore for the winning team in the last edition, the tournament has come a long way.

A similar story goes for the auctions with teams shelling out crores every year to bag the top players for the season. The question, however, isdo franchises make the right purchases On the other side of the spectrum, do players provide value for the money spent

We take a look at the top five buys in the last three editions of the IPL, and find out whether they were able to live up to the expectations of their respective franchises, at least when it comes to the hefty amounts spent on them.

IPL 2013

Ajantha Mendis

Team: Pune Warriors

Matches: 3

Wickets: 2

Ajantha Mendis suffered the embarrassment of being unsold in the 2012 IPL auction. It was a different story in 2013, with the Pune Warriors snapping him up for a handsome amount. However, he could not prove his worth, taking only two wickets in three matches.

Glenn Maxwell

Team: Mumbai Indians

Matches: 5

Runs: 83

Though Maxwell was the highest-sold player in 2013, he could not live up to the expectations of the team. With an average of 20.73 in five matches, he was plain mediocre. Luck is on his side this year, though, with Kings XI Punjab bagging him for a whopping Rs 6 crore.

Kane Richardson

Team: Pune Warriors

Matches: 3

Runs: 34

Though the right-handed batsman from Australia was one of the highest-sold players in IPL 2013, he just scored 34 runs in three matches with a meagre average of 17.

Abhishek Nayar

Team: Pune Warriors

Bought for: $6,75,000

Matches: 11

Runs: 66

With an average of 11 in 11 matches, Nayar was not up to the mark with his performance in 2013 IPL. With just 66 runs in all, he proved to be a mediocre purchase for Pune Warriors.

Thisara Perera

Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Bought for: $6,75,000

Matches: 16

Runs: 233

Wickets: 19

With 233 runs and 19 wickets in 16 matches, the Sri Lankan all-rounder was a good buy for his team. He was among the top 10 bowlers and top 20 highest run-getters in IPL 2013.

IPL 2012

Ravindra Jadeja

Team: Chennai Super Kings

Matches: 19

Runs: 191

Wickets: 12

With his wicket-taking and big-hitting ability, Jadeja had the credibility to become the most expensive player in IPL 2012. Though he could not score more runs, his contribution to the team in the final overs was massive.

R Vinay Kumar

Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Matches: 15

Wickets: 19

With an average of 25.26, Kumar was one of the best bowlers RCB had. Apart from taking wickets at regular intervals, he did well in the final overs with his bowling attack.

Mahela Jayawardene

Team: Delhi Daredevils

Matches: 16

Runs: 335

With an average of 27.91 runs in 16 matches, the Sri Lankan opener was the second-highest run-getter from Delhi Daredevils. However, it did not prove enough for the team.

Brendon McCullum

Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Bought for: $9,00,000

Matches: 12

Runs: 289

With an average of 24.08 in 12 matches, the New Zealand captain was not in his best of forms that season. He just scored one half-century.

Sunil Narine

Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Bought for: $7,00,000

Matches: 15

Wickets: 24

With 24 wickets in 15 matches, at an average of 13.5, the west Indian off-spinner was one of the most acclaimed players of 2012 IPL. He was also the second-highest wicket-taker of the season.

IPL 2011

Gautam Gambhir

Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Matches: 15

Runs: 378

The left-handed opening batsman, who plays domestic cricket for Delhi and captains Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, was the most expensive player in IPL 2011. Though Gauti scored well, with an average of 34.36 in 15 matches, it was not considered enough for the team.

Robin Uthappa

Team: Pune Warriors

Matches: 14

Runs: 264

Though Pune Warriors could not make a mark in the IPL that year, the right-handed batsman from Karnataka was the highestrun-getter for the team. He often gave the team the much-needed start early in the innings.

Yusuf Pathan

Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Matches: 15

Runs: 283

Wickets: 13With an average of 28.3 in 15 matches and 13 wickets, the big hitter was a good buy for Kolkata Knight Riders. He was also one of the most valuable all-rounders during the season. Shortly after the IPL, he was picked in Indias squad for the World Cup.

Rohit Sharma

Team: Mumbai Indians

Bought for: $2 million

Matches: 16

Runs: 372

With an average of 33.81 runs in 16 matches, the middle-order batsman from Maharashtra was one of the most prolific batsmen from Mumbai Indians. He was the third-highest run-getter from the team, after Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu.

Irfan Pathan

Team: Delhi Daredevils

Bought for: $1.9 million

Matches: 14

Runs: 150

Wickets: 11

The former left-hand medium pacer and left-hand batsman from Team India was one of the best all-rounders that season. He not only took wickets at regular intervals, but also scored big for Delhi.


If the huge amounts spent on some high-profile players went against their worth, there were a few purchases that exceeded expectations. Here are three such cases

Paul Valthaty

Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2011

Matches: 14

Runs: 463

Highest score: 120 not out

Average: 35.61

Strike rate: 136.98

Valthaty never looked the player he was in his teensuntil IPL 2011. Little known until then, he outshone the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh by blazing away at the start of the innings. He even went on to score a century, which put

him in an elite league of players, who

have notched up three-figure scores

in the IPL.

Kevin Cooper

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012

Matches: 6

Wickets: 10

Runs: 38

Strike rate: 190

He did not expect to be here. Before

the IPL 2012 began, the 23-year-old

all-rounder from Trinidad & Tobago

was just hoping he would get a game

with Rajasthan Royals. But after picking up seven wickets from his first two matches, he was also the Purple Cap holder for a few days. He was sold at his base price of $50,000.

James Faulkner

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2013

Matches: 16

Overs: 63.1

Wickets: 28

Average: 15.25

Best bowling: 5/16

The all-rounder from Australia was the second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2013, behind Dwayne Bravos 32. But Faulkner took two of the three five-fors in the tournament. His two five-fors, both against Sunrisers Hyderabad5 for 16 in Hyderabad, and 5 for 20 in Jaipurare the two best bowling performances of the tournament.