Despite the harsh reality of the willow being the glamorous tool and the bowlers and the leather remaining at the receiving end, bowlers have been crucial in the success of various franchises over the years.
The scenario does not change even in the professional sphere of the Indian Premier League where winning is more important than any individual excellence. Still, bowlers over the years have been what Kapil Dev would often describe them as – “poor labourers”. Except for West Indian Sunil Narine, whose high bids also come for his all-round abilities, and Pat Cummins in the IPL 2020 Auction on December 19 have attracted lesser values than the batsmen in the million dollar trade of the IPL.
The gap among the highest-paid IPL bowler Sunil Narine and Harbhajan Singh in the number two position remains a yawning one – a sharp contrast to the packages of the batsmen, three of whom have breached into the ₹100 crore IPL Moneyball club. Only two bowlers till date have been able to exceed ₹ 50 crores in their aggregate IPL salary contracts. The ratio among the top two bowlers Narine and Harbhajan is 52:84.
Another interesting stat from the IPL Moneyball, the live salary digital calculator of insidesprt.co, reveals that from the total IPL salary commitments of ₹ 5,188.07 till date, only ₹ 1353.65 crore, approximately 24%, has gone to the bowlers.
InsideSport.co brings to its readers top ten IPL Bowlers Rankings as per the professional sports league’s salary digital calculators Moneyball.
Number 10 – Ashish Nehra
Finishing off his IPL career with Sunrisers Hyderabad and one league title, Ashish Nehra has always been an important member of the team he would represent. Earning a decent amount throughout his IPL career and even after retiring in 2017, the tall southpaw had aggregated ₹ 31,53,00,000 to find a place among the 10 highest-earning bowlers.
Number 9 – Amit Mishra
Veteran leggie Amit Mishra has been associated with the IPL Delhi franchisee for the better part of his career. He is all set to play another season with the Delhi Capitals as they have retained the veteran wrist-spinner yet again. With a salary of ₹4 crores for the upcoming season, his career IPL contracts will aggregate a lucrative ₹ 31,75,00,000. That puts the Delhi boy, who had played his first-class cricket for Haryana, at number 8 in the Moneyball Salary Calculator for the bowlers.
Number 8 -Zaheer Khan
Another veteran of the game who played for three different franchises across his 10-year IPL career before quitting after 2017 in the Delhi Daredevils colours. The fast bowling sensation of his era, Zaheer has aggregated ₹ 32,42,000 in his IPL career salaries. The keeps in in the top 10 list even three IPL seasons after his retirement.
Number 7 – Jaydev Unadkat
Saurashtra’s skipper Jaydev Unadkat is the bowler to make the most headlines at the IPL auctions. He was picked up by Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for ₹ 11.5 crore. Then a record sum for a bowler. The southpaw was released before the IPL Auction 2019 only to be picked up by the same franchise after yet another intense bidding war that had the winning bid of ₹8.4 crores. Yet again, before IPL Auction 2020 Unadkat was released and regained by Rajasthan Royals. He finds a contract worth ₹3 crores this time. With an aggregated sum of ₹33,41,50,000, Unadkat sits at number 7 in the Moneyball Salary Calculator table for the bowlers.
Number 6 – Umesh Yadav
Getting retained for yet another year with his third franchisee since his debut in IPL 2009, Umesh Yadav has become a force to reckon with. Leading the pace attack of RCB in 2020, Yadav is contracted for ₹4.2 crores for this season. With earning ₹33,59,00,000 in IPL, Yadav features at No. 6 the table of the bowlers with the highest IPL career contracts.
Number 5 – Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
The pace spearhead, with the 2020 being his seventh season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, has been a key player in his team’s 2016 title triumph. Having started his journey from ₹ 6 lakh for a season way back in 2009 to earning ₹8.5 crores in the current season, Bhuvneshwar has come a long way ahead. With ₹43,22,62,000 since 2009, he stands at number 5 in our Moneyball Salary Calculator.
Number 4 – Dale Steyn
The Proteas tearaway speedster was the only player in the top 10 club to go into the auction on December 19 this year. Steyn was bought back by Royal Challengers Bangalore after having released him during the player retention period. Despite having not played IPL in 2017 and 2018 due to injury and only finding a team in 2019 as a replacement, Steyn with an aggregate sum of ₹ 45,65,08,250 features at No. 4 in our Moneyball Salary Calculator.
Number 3 – Lasith Malinga
Another overseas veteran of IPL titles with Mumbai Indians has only featured for the Reliance Industries-owned franchisee ever since the inception of the league. Donning the blue jersey and golden over the years, Malinga is an integral part of the MI Paltan. He over the years has earned ₹48,22,19,500 and makes him one of the top three highest-paid IPL bowlers.
Number 2 – Harbhajan Singh
The highest-paid Indian bowler in the IPL who played for Mumbai Indians for 10 years, winning three titles and then bagging his fourth with the Chennai Super Kings after being released by the MI in 2018. A consistent earner throughout his career in IPL with aggregate salary contacts of ₹ 56,14,00,000 going into the 13th season, the
Turbanator secures the second spot in the IPL Moneyball Salary Calculator for the bowlers.
Number 1 – Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine is the only bowler from this list who also features in top 10 overall players with the highest IPL aggregate contracts. Having played just for a single franchisee since his debut in 2012 for Kolkata Knight Riders, Narine has earned salary contracts worth ₹ 82,74,78,000 in his career and tops the Moneyball Salary Calculator chart for bowlers. He is also the only the second bowler to earn more than 10 crores currently and is the second-highest-paid player of Kolkata Knight Riders. His all-round ability adds a certain premium for this Caribbean veteran of Indian descent.