Annual salaries running into crores of rupees was the sports business outside the cricket world before the Board of Control for Cricket in India launched the Indian Premier League in 2008. In the Year One itself player acquisition bids rose to the levels, that global sports like badminton or most of the Olympic sports disciplines would envy.
Cricket with the IPL had arrived with the most lucrative pay cheques for its professional players.
IPL, established as the biggest professional league in the cricketing, has seen cricketers garner far more dollars as compared to other leagues around the cricket world. The cricket’s richest league has seen players become overnight millionaire. The young Indian players have grown through the years with the exposure they get from IPL and for the overseas players, it is an experience of a lifetime.
There have been salary cheques running into crores of rupees for the players who will fail to find a considerable mention in international bilateral cricket or the tournaments conducted by the ICC.
Players like Ben Stokes who was sold at a record price of ₹14.5 crores in his first season of IPL had a terrific 2019 with England in run up to their maiden ICC World Cup title triumph. Then you have Jofra Archer who gained experience, exposure and money in the IPL good enough to earn a National Team berth in England.
For the upcoming IPL 2020, the N0. 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins headlined the auction when he was bagged at a whopping price of ₹15.5 crores by Kolkata Knight Riders.
On the one hand, overseas players are gaining big fat pay purse from the IPL, on the other uncapped Indian players are getting the exposure of their lifetime. Under-19 India captain Priyam Garg and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who served as a roadside vendor for survival on the Mumbai streets, also made headlines for their multi-crore rupee IPL deals.
Insidesport.co brings its readers a list of top 10 players from the Moneyball Salary Calculator, who fetched the highest salary contracts ever over the 13 years.
- David Warner – ₹ 12.5 cr
The prolific batsman from Australia after a ban in 2018 made his way back in 2019 when Sunrisers Management put faith in him and retained him for a whopping ₹12.5 crores. Despite losing the captaincy of the team, Warner was their leading batsman and also became the top scorer of the tournament with 692 runs in 12 matches.
- Dinesh Karthik – ₹ 12.5 cr
Having played for six different franchises over the years has given Dinesh a lot of experience and the current Kolkata Knight Riders skipper was once an important part of Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). In 2014, the Delhi franchisee bid heavily for the Tamil Nadu batsman and got him in their squad at a hefty ₹12.5 crores giving him the number 9 spot in our Moneyball top 10 salaried players.
- Yuvraj Singh – ₹ 14 cr
The two-time world cup winning southpaw from Punjab has been one of the big earners in the Indian Premier League. In 2014, Yuvraj was bagged by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a fat pay cheque of ₹14 crores before he was released the very next season. Yuvraj finds two positions in the coveted list. He has also against his name the second-highest bid for an IPL player.
- Ben Stokes – ₹ 14.5 cr
The big Ben in his very first year of Indian Premier League announced his arrival after impressive performances in the International arena. Ben Stokes was picked up by Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 shocking the world with a ₹14.5 crores bid. 2017 became the best season for Supergiant as they finished second in the league. Ben was worth the price and he features at number 7 in our Moneyball player contract. He is also the player to get the third highest bid in the past thirteen years.
- Rishabh Pant – ₹ 15 cr
Rishabh Pant after his entry in IPL in 2016 with Delhi Daredevils has captured the eyes of many teams. The local boy from Delhi has only featured in the Delhi IPL franchisee over the past four seasons. Rishabh with his hitting prowess is a dangerous batsman and getting retained by the Delhi Capitals for yet another year will see him earn ₹15 crores in the 2020 season. He features at No. 6 in our Moneyball player contract and finds himself in the company IPL richest players’ Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni.
- Rohit Sharma – ₹ 15 cr
The Mumbaikar who has won five IPL titles in his twelve seasons will look to bag his sixth when he will lead Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020. A big part of the Mumbai franchisee since 2011 has seen his worth growing every year. Rohit is one of the three players to have surpassed the ₹100 crores mark in the players earning list and getting retained for yet another year by the Mumbai franchise, Rohit will be earning ₹15 crores in the IPL 2020. He features at number 5 in our Moneyball player contract.
- MS Dhoni – ₹ 15 cr
Former Indian captain who has led Chennai Super Kings since its inception in 2008 barring two seasons when they were banned is an integral part of the franchise. MS has been retained by the Super Kings every single year and the most expensive player in 2008 will be earning ₹15 crores as he is also retained for 2020. Three-time IPL champion and a member of ₹100 crores club is at number 4 in our Moneyball player contract.
- Pat Cummins – ₹ 15.5 cr
If 2008 is remembered for MS Dhoni, then 2020 will be the year of Pat Cummins at the IPL Auction. The fast bowler from Australia has become the highest-paid overseas player in the IPL history, thereby surpassing the record held by Ben Stokes. Cummins was bagged by Shahrukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders at a huge amount of ₹15.5 crores making it a record signing for an overseas player. He became the second-highest earner from the IPL Auction while the third-highest in our Moneyball player contract list.
- Yuvraj Singh – ₹ 16 cr
The southpaw is the only player to get signed by two different franchises in two consecutive years at a record price. After Yuvraj was released by RCB when they bagged him for ₹14 crores in 2014, Delhi Daredevils had pounced on him at a record signing of ₹16 crores in 2015, making him the costliest player at that time and the costliest signing ever from an IPL Auction. Having since been overtaken by Virat Kohli for his off-the-auction negotiated contract, Yuvraj features at No. 2 in our Moneyball salary contract list.
- Virat Kohli – ₹ 17 cr
The numero uno for contemporary cricket also remains the No. 1 in the IPL salary charts. The current India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is the only player to have played 12 seasons with just one franchise. He is set to extend the record to 13. The growth of his salaries over the years is maximum with an increase of 99.3% since the beginning of the IPL and his first contract worth a mere ₹ 12 lakh. One of the three players to feature in the ₹100 crores club, Kohli became the highest-paid player in 2018 when RCB franchise decided to retain him at a record price of ₹17 crore,s taking him past Yuvraj Singh’s ₹16 crores deal. Topping the chart in Forbes Top 100 Indians, Virat Kohli also tops the chart in our Moneyball player contract for yet another season.
Also Read: IPL Moneyball: League’s top 10 earners