Hum jahan khade hote hain, line wahin se shuru hoti he (The queue will only start from the place I stand). The famous Amitabh Bachchan dialogue from Hindi blockbuster Kaalia aptly describes Virat Kohli’s stature in the sporting and cricket record books for cricket.
Kohli has emerged atop another record table with his ₹17 crore deal to stay with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, relegating Yuvraj Singh to the second position for his ₹16 crore acquisition by Delhi Daredevils at the 2015 IPL player auction.
Kohli is the most expensive IPL player ever, now. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, riding on his glorious past, returns to Chennai Super Kings for ₹15 crore and Rohit Sharma fetches a similar deal for his new-found T20 glory to stay with Mumbai Indians.
Insidesport.co chronicles Top 10 IPL player acquisition deals following the player retention exercise on Friday.
1. Virat ‘Record Man’ Kohli
The team India captain stays rooted to Royal Challengers Bangalore for the best ever ₹17 crore IPL player deal, a two crore rupees appreciation over his earlier agreement with the franchisee.
2. Yuvraj Singh
The record for the top player acquisition package in the IPL earlier stood in the name of dashing Yuvraj Singh, who was acquired by Delhi Daredevils ₹16 crore during the IPL 2015 auction.
3. MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma
The Chennai Super Kings skipper Dhoni and Mumbai Indians top star Sharma are in the joint third place for their identical ₹15 crore deals with their respective franchisees. Dhoni and Sharma have got an appreciation of ₹ 2.5 crores and ₹ 1.5 crores respectively over their previous deals.
4. Ben Stoke
Ben Stoke’s ₹ 14.5 crore deal with Rising Pune Supergiant, then the third highest, till date is the top IPL commitment for an overseas player.
5. Shikhar Dhawan
The left-hander hard-hitting opener is placed in the 5th position for his ₹ 12.5 crore contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
6. Steve Smith / David Warner and Tymal Mills
The dependable Australia captain Steve Smith is retained by Rajasthan Royals for ₹ 12 crores while his compatriot David Warner stays with SRH for a similar deal as both share the joint 6th position with English cricketer Tymal Mills for RCB’s his ₹ 12 crore bid for him.
7. Suresh Raina / Hardik Pandya / AB de Villiers
The ₹ 11 crore retention agreements for Raina, de Villiers and Panya by their respective franchisees CSK, RCB and MI put the trio in the joint seventh sport for the highest franchisee-player contracts in the IPL.
8. Gautam Gambhir
The veteran left-hander opener Gambhir, released for going under the hammer by the Kolkata Knight Riders, still stays among the top ten for his earlier ₹ 10 crore deal with the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchisee.
9. Kieron Pollard
The West Indies all-rounder Pollard had a ₹ 9.7 crore deal with the Mumbai Indians.
10. Shane Watson
Only last year RCB had acquired veteran Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson in a ₹ 9.5 crore deal.
The IPL player acquisition bid process is scheduled for January 27 and 28. A reshuffle in this top 10 list is a strong probability even as there appears little threat for the cricketing icons holding the top three positions.