The stage is set and the fans geared up to don the cricket fever this IPL season. Usually, the IPL auctions mark the beginning of the excitement, as the exorbitant amounts at which IPL franchises pick the players of their choice soon grab eyeballs. As many as 351 players are in the fray, of which 226 are from India, for the franchises to pick. With the World Cup preparations cutting into IPL 2019 season, many are sceptical if the old magic of IPL will continue to rule the hearts of fans. But once the Indian Premier League cycle begins to churn, the audience and fans are bound to live the excitement as the cricket league entertains. With IPL auctions 2019 happening today, here's a look at the players from the past IPL auctions who fetched huge amounts: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2008) MS Dhoni was one of the favourite picks for the IPL inaugural season and he was picked for Rs 9.5 crore by the Chennai Super Kings, making him the most expensive player of that year. With the 'most expensive' tag labelled on him, Dhoni had to face a lot of pressure but the 'captain cool' justified his price tag and gave some thrilling performances and under his captainship, the CSK played 7 finals and lifted IPL titles thrice. Andrew Symonds emerged as the most costly foreign player with the Australian all-rounder was bought for USD 1.35 million. Read | IPL auction 2019 Live Updates: In a first, players from Bihar, Arunachal, Manipur to figure in auction Ben Stokes (2017, 2018) England's golden boy was named the Most Valuable Player in IPL 2017 season in which he scored 316 runs at an average of 31.6 and took 12 wickets in 12 matches and turned out to be a match-winner for his team. Stokes, who has joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018, was sold at a hefty Rs 12.5 crore. His former team Rising Pune Supergiants spent Rs 14.5 crore to avail his services and Stokes was exceptional for the team as they finished runners-up. Yuvraj Singh (2014, 2015) India\u2019s favourite Yuvraj Singh was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 for a whopping Rs 14 crore, which was the highest paid amount to any player in IPL history back then. The strategy, however, turned out to be disastrous and RCB released Yuvraj the next year. He again broke the record of most expensive player in IPL 2015 and was bought by Delhi Capitals, then Delhi Daredevils for Rs 16 crore. Kevin Pietersen was the most expensive foreign player sold at Rs 9.5 crores in the IPL 2014. Also read | IPL Auction 2019: IPL auction date, time, venue, full schedule and slots available for teams Ravindra Jadeja (2012) In the 5th edition of IPL, Chennai Super Kings put their bet on this Indian all-rounder and brought Ravindra Jadeja in to their squad for Rs 12 crore. The season saw only eight franchises going in for the IPL auctions with defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India not taking part in the auctions. True to the spirit, \u2018Sir\u2019 Ravindra Jadeja managed to live up to the expectations and picked up five wickets in his debut IPL season. Jadeja was retained by CSK for IPL 2018. Gautam Gambhir (2011) Before he announced his retirement from all the three formats of cricket, Gautam Gambhir rode to the ranks of successful IPL captains. Under his able captainship, Kolkata Knight Riders bagged two IPL titles in IPL 2012 and IPL 2014. He was bought for a humongous Rs 11.04 crore and proved to be an asset for his team. Former Sri Lankan batting giant Mahela Jayawardene was the most expensive foreign player as the new team Kochi Tuskers Kerala picked him up to lead the side. Shane Watson (2016) Shane Watson raised the roof of the highest IPL bids as he was bought for Rs 9.5 crore. This Australian all-rounder was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore to balance the team but he turned out to be disappointing for the RCB. Another Indian player who emerged as the surprise pick of the IPL season was Pawan Negi. The most expensive Indian player, who was uncapped at that time, was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 8.5 crore. Also read | IPL 2019 Auction: Meet new IPL auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, who replaces Richard Madley first time in 11 years Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff (2009) English duo Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff grabbed the crown of the highest bids of Rs 9.8 crore each in the second IPL season. While Pietersen was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore to strengthen their top order, Flintoff joined the Chennai Super Kings squad, who were looking for an all-rounder after the first IPL season. The right-hand batsman, who left due to international commitments, scored only 93 runs in six matches that he played in that season. His performance in the captainship role wasn't impressive either as the English player could win only two matches for his team. Flintoff too had a poor season owing to his injuries that affected his performances badly. He played only three matches for the CSK.