The IPL auction for the 2024 edition is just one week away as the franchises look to bolster their squad with new signings. The auction is set to take place in Dubai on December 19 and will feature several top players such as Mitchell Starc, Travis Head, Harry Brook and Wanindu Hasaranga.
The IPL auction is one of the most anticipated events in this sport every year with players all around the world securing lucrative contracts.
The tournament, which includes the absolute best T20 players in the world, has witnessed cricketers fetch huge sums over the years. Ahead of the IPL auction 2024, let's take a look at the most expensive players in the history of the league auctions.
Most expensive players in the IPL auction
Sam Curran (INR 18.50 cr)
Mini auctions are where the franchises splurge a huge amount of money on certain players due to the scarcity of top talent in the auction pool. It is no surprise that most of the top-earning signings happened in mini-auctions.
Sam Curran became the most expensive player in the history of the league when Punjab Kings bagged him for INR 18.5 cr in the IPL 2023 auction.
Curran, who had not registered for the mega auction in 2022, was one of the biggest attractions in this auction. He was the Player of the Tournament in the 2022 T20 World Cup and also the Player of the Match in the final where England defeated Pakistan.
A combination of Curran’s all-round skill set and mini-auction meant that there was a huge demand for him.
Cameron Green (INR 17.50 cr)
Another player who earned huge bucks due to his dual skill set and auction dynamics in the 2023 auction was Cameron Green. The young Aussie all-rounder became the second most expensive player in the history of IPL with Mumbai Indians signing him up for INR 17.50 cr.
Green made his T20I debut for Australia in April 2022 against Pakistan but his stocks skyrocketed when he hammered 61 off 30 and 52 off 21 deliveries against India in November 2022.
Green did justice to his price tag, putting on a solid debut season for Mumbai in IPL 2023. He scored 452 runs in 16 innings for Mumbai Indians, averaging 50 at a strike rate of 160, including a century.
Ben Stokes (INR 16.25 cr)
The third biggest signing in IPL auction history also came in the 2023 auction when Chennai Super Kings picked up Ben Stokes for INR 16.25 cr. Stokes’ T20 career has left a lot to be desired as he never quite had an opportunity to play the format consistently enough.
He still had a huge demand in the IPL courtesy of his big-match player tag and the impact he had in the 2022 T20 World Cup final, where he scored an unbeaten fifty to guide England to the trophy. Teams engaged in a bidding war for him, with Chennai having the last laugh.
Stokes' knee troubles meant that he could only play two games in the season. The England Test captain was released ahead of this year's auction as he made himself unavailable to manage his workload.
Chris Morris (INR 16.25 cr)
Former South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris was the most expensive player at one point after teams broke the bank for him at the IPL 2021 mini-auction. Rajasthan Royals acquired his services for a whopping sum of INR 16.25 cr.
Morris was let go by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the auction, having bought him for INR 10 cr in the previous auction. Teams were dying for an all-rounder and Morris fit the bill well. Bangalore hoped to get him for a cheaper price but it backfired as teams went to a fierce bidding war. Morris earned a paycheck of more than 21 times his base price of INR 75 lakh.
Morris ended up as the top wicket-taker for Rajasthan in IPL 2021 with 15 wickets from 11 games. He couldn't do much with the bat, scoring 67 runs at an average of 13.40. In January 2022, Morris announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Nicholas Pooran (INR 16 cr)
Nicholas Pooran fetched INR 16 crore in the IPL 2023 auction with Lucknow Super Giants acquiring his services. With this, he became the most expensive wicketkeeper batter in IPL auction history.
In the 2022 season, the left-hand batter was a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had picked him in the mega auction for INR 10.75 cr. However, Hyderabad released him ahead of the mini-auction after he had scored 306 runs at 38 average and 144 strike rate.
Pooran lived up to the price tag in IPL 2023, where he scored 358 runs at an excellent strike rate of 173 while averaging 30.
Yuvraj Singh (INR 16 cr)
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh could not live up to the potential in T20 cricket barring the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Even in the IPL, he didn't have much success but he continued to be one of the sought-after players in the IPL auction.
Yuvraj was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 14 in the IPL 2014 auction. He had a decent season but RCB opted to release him. He remained a hot property and fetched INR 16 crore in the IPL auction in 2015 to play for Delhi.
Yuvraj failed to make an impact for Delhi, managing 248 runs in 14 matches at 19 average and 118 strike rate. Delhi released him after only one season and he was bought by Hyderabad for INR 7 cr ahead of the 2016 season.
Pat Cummins (INR 15.50 cr)
Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins hit the jackpot during the 2020 IPL auction as Kolkata Knight Riders spent INR 15.5 crore to acquire his services. He claimed 12 wickets in the 2020 season and nine wickets in the following edition.
Cummins was released by KKR ahead of the 2022 mega auction, where they bought him back at INR 7.25 crore. He picked up seven wickets in five games and smashed the joint-fastest fifty in IPL history (15 balls) against Mumbai Indians.
However, Cummins’ season ended early with a hip injury. The franchise released him ahead of the 2023 mini-auction after Cummins pulled out of the season for workload management.