IPL player prices

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4 minute read

For those that don’t know, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a new Twenty20 tournament where eight city ‘franchises’ compete for little prestige, but huge fiscal reward.

There were several players who were classed as ‘iconic’ and had to stay with their home teams, but everyone else was up for grabs in an auction. The city franchises bid what they were willing to pay each player per year.

For some reason, despite taking place in the land of the rupee in a conspicuously non-American sport, this whole bidding thing was done in US dollars.

How we wish everyone would gather together and say to us: “This is precisely what the world thinks of you – in dollars.” To put an actual monetary figure on a person’s worth is a cruel, cruel thing to do, no matter how handsomely said people are rewarded.

So without further ado, let’s all wade in and make it crueller.


Kieron Pollard – $750,000

A great Champions League is all you need. Mumbai Indians were convinced.

Shane Bond – $750,000

Old, injury-prone fast-bowlers can cope with four overs of Twenty20. Kolkata Knight Riders will benefit.

Kemar Roach – $720,000

Young, vicious fast-bowlers can let rip in four overs of Twenty20. Deccan Chargers have this at their disposal.

Wayne Parnell – $610,000

Have Delhi Daredevils only seen the last year of cricket or are they optimistic for the future? Good death bowling in the World Twenty20 made Wayne his fortune.

Mohammad Kaif – $250,000

Given the boot by Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab have given him a second chance.

Eoin Morgan – $220,000

You get the impression he’d have gone for more if he’d waited a year. Will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore

Damien Martyn – $100,000

Shane Warne must have had something to do with this Rajasthan Royals signing. He was crap in the ICL.


Kevin Pietersen – $1.55 million

Let’s see any cricketer justify that price tag. Bangalore Royal Challengers are out of pocket here.

Andrew Flintoff – $1.55 million

*Any* cricketer… Even Chennai Super Kings probably don’t think they’ve got a bargain in the cold light of day

JP Duminy – $950,000

He’d had a good three months leading up to the auction and Mumbai Indians have short memories.

Tyron Henderson – $650,000

One South Africa game to his credit. Rajasthan Royals will hope to play him a bit more than that.

Mashrafe Mortaza – $600,000

Kolkata Knight Riders clearly want to tap the Bangladeshi market.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni - AND HIS NAKED SHOULDERSMahendra Singh Dhoni – $1.5 million

Everyone bid for Dhoni. He’s swoonsome. Dhoni went to Chennai.

Andrew Symonds – $1.35 million

Symonds is usually frightened of the subcontinent, finding any old excuse not to visit. He’ll counter by saying that that’s just Pakistan, which is just as well when there are seven-figure sums at stake. Hyderabad wanted Symonds *this much*.

Ishant Sharma – $950,000

Long memories from the bidders here. Kolkata finally ended up with a player who’s been playing international cricket for about a fortnight.

Manoj Tiwary – $675,000

No clue. It’s 300-and-odd thousand per international run he’s scored though. Delhi were the frugal chaps who invested in him.

Shane Warne – $450,000

Shane, unfortunately the world thinks that you’re $50,000 worse than Cameron White. That’s assuming Jaipur haven’t vastly overpaid for you.

Ricky Ponting – $400,000

Another duff bid. Everyone point and laugh. Ricky Ponting went for less than Mark Boucher. In fact, Ponting is Kolkata’s seventh most valuable player. Score.

Matthew Hayden – $375,000

How about YOU pay US $375,000 - deal?Everyone point and laugh again, only this time really put your backs into it. Chennai wanted Matthew Hayden, but only about half as much as they wanted Jacob Oram, Albie Morkel and Suresh Raina, all of whom clocked in at $600,000 plus.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul – $200,000

Bangalore would have been better off getting three-and-a-half more Shivs instead of their one Jacques Kallis, but still. At least they got one.

About these values

We’ve read a few articles about how this auction will have bruised a few egos. Doubtless it will, but it’s not so straightforward as just looking at the price and that’s what the player’s worth.

It’s a different format of the game for one thing (admittedly now the most financially rewarding format). Certain sorts of players are of greater worth than others. Quick-scoring entertainers are who the franchises want. Bowlers are also less desirable as they can only contribute for four overs wheras batsmen have potentially the entire innings to influence the match.

There are also certain rules that have boosted particular players’ values. Each side must feature four Indian players as well as four players under the age of 22. Get yourself a 19-year-old like Ishant Sharma and you’re fulfilling your quotas. Glenn McGrath however ($350,000), will take up one of your four overseas spots and you’ll get four overs, no batting and negligible fielding out of him.

We’re a bit uncertain about what happens at the end of the season. Players can be traded, but contracts have been guaranteed by the BCCI for three years. Maybe it’s worth getting younger players into your side early on before they’re worth more. That might be another reason why some of the more established names have gone for less than you might expect.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Poor Mohammed Yoosuf, no one wanted him! Maybe we can start a whip and get to keep him in the garden doing forward defense?

  2. At least there were some legal shenanigans surrounding Mohammed Yousuf’s rejection. What about poor Ashwell Prince?

    Thinking about it, we’re not sure we want Ashwell to appear in our garden even.

    Any takers?

    Starting price: one used-up marker pen and a kimble tag.


  3. I’ll see your salt and vinegar crisps and raise you a set of magnets with cats on. Yes, the whole set, I think Ashwell is worth it.

  4. Ooh, I like the sound of those magnets Lemon Bella. I’ll see your magnets, and raise you a cd of Bach’s violin sonatas and partitas (disc 1 only; disc 2 is lost).

  5. Now, if that was disc 2 rather than disc 1….

    I’ll see your CD and raise you a pink flamingo beanybaby and four packets of mints I stole from the Barnham Broom Hotel in Norfolk.

  6. The bidders were a bunch of fan-types with too much money on their hands and too little knowledge of cricket. The bid-now-or-you-lose-him-forever (or three years) atmosphere contributed to the madness of crowds. But even this can’t explain $900K for Jacques Kallis, or Symonds alone being worth more than Warne, McGrath, and Ponting combined. Unexplainably dumb valuations with huge amounts of money at stake show that cricket now truly arrived into the world of major professional sports.

    The most exploited man in all IPL cricket is VVS Laxman, who voluntarily gave up his “icon” status for the good of his team, then found that his team, out of gratefulness, decided to value him at about 1/3 of his new teammate Symonds, i.e. about 1/4 of what he would have made if he kept icon status.

  7. I would offer him a leather jacket and a “stuck” of biltong, but he might find this inappropriate. How about a copy of the “Consolations of Philosophy”?

  8. how will such players get paid wen they have left midway,eg symonds and lee will they get full salary or will they be paid for the matches they have played.please reply as this ques has frustrated me for long time now.
    like sachin came after 5 matches so will he get paid for all the matches in which he did not feature?
    u can also cc me the reply on my email id sab13e13@yahoo.com


  9. do they players get the signed money for the season they play or for the match they play?
    if the players not playing one match or 2-3 match,will he get paid the whole money as he hired for??

    Can some one tell me how is it fix …….

  10. Mohammad Yousuf is an unique class cricketer. Its not bad luck for Mohammad Yousuf but the IPL which missed out such a wonderful cricketer. If you blend 10 Dhoni, you will hardly get a cricketer like Mohammad Yousuf…

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