As we get ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Indian Premier League, it is time to look back and see the impact of some of the star players. Now, the question is how do you judge or define a player’s impact? Of course, runs, wickets and catches are an important aspect of the performance but when it comes to a franchise-run tournament like IPL, the economy becomes an important aspect that cannot be overlooked. For example, Pawan Negi was bought by the Delhi Daredevils last year for Rs 8.50 crores but scored 57 runs in 8 matches and picked up a solitary wicket making him a disastrous buy both in terms of money and performance.
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On the other hand, if you look at someone like Pravin Tambe didn’t have a glamorous season either picking up 5 wickets from 7 matches but was bought for just Rs. 30 lakhs which meant he wasn’t a bad buy. Coming to the big names now, Virat Kohli scored 973 runs last year at an incredible average of 81 including 7 half-centuries and 4 tons. He took the tournament by storm but even that doesn’t make him the most impactful player as David Warner who even though scored 848 runs helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to a title victory.
Here is what Rashid Khan has to say:
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) April 4, 2017
In fact, when you look at Yusuf Pathan’s record who spends most part of the year in the wilderness, there is no doubt that he is one of the stars in IPL. The overall numbers may not just that but when you look at the crucial matches, the playoffs or do-or-die games, his numbers are impeccable. Yusuf has taken the side out from tough situations and helped it win games. He has 3 IPL trophies to his name: one with Rajasthan Royals and two with KKR.
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The impact also varies from team to team for one particular player. For example, Robin Uthappa was bought by the Pune Warriors for USD 2.1 million but had a disastrous season costing his side Rs 1.17 lakh for each run. However, he moved to KKR for a bigger amount and went on win the purple cup leading them to a title. Interestingly, if you look in the longer run there is no other player who has justified has price tag than Virat Kohli. The Indian captain was picked as a catchment player which means he wasn’t bought and has grown over the years. It is like getting returns for the right investment.
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The franchises have also matured over the years and have realised that availability of players also has to do a lot with their price tags. Andrew Flintoff was bought by CSK for USD 1.55 million in the second edition but left the tournament after three games scoring 62 runs and picking up just 2 wickets. So, now the owners are reluctant to spend on players who are not available or the entire tournament. All these factors combined justifies a player’s price tag and not just on-field heroics.