Virat Kohli. MS Dhoni. Ab de Villiers. Suresh Raina. The tried and trusted names of Indian Premier League are back with their respective franchisees for the 2018 season. All at a premium over their past deals. But will other big names from the list of top players to draw the best salaries last season be able to influence the franchisees yet another time?
Some of them have already failed to be on the same side as their incumbent team owners. Insidesport editorial panel analyses how many of the 10 highest paid players in the IPL 2017 will be able to match or excel their best deals during the coming season.
1. VIRAT KOHLI
The man with midas’ touch both on and off the field, Virat Kohli has already excelled his record ₹15 crore deal with the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, as he is retained by the Bengaluru franchisee for yet another all-time high IPL salary of ₹17 crore.
2. BEN STOKES
Ben Stokes stands a good chance to excel his previous awe-awakening auction price. The England cricketer with the IPL record for the highest paid overseas cricketer has justified his high price tag for Royal Pune Supergiant. Even as Kings XI Punjab cricket director Virender Sehwag has already tipped Stokes to be the only player with the potential to surpass Kohli’s ₹17 crore tag, the man facing legal proceedings at home is engulfed by uncertainties. So do the chances of him getting a better deal at the IPL 2018 auction.
3. MS DHONI
The star wicketkeeper-batsman is back with Chennai Super Kings, his home for the first eight IPL seasons, with a ₹15 crore deal – 20% jump over what Royal Pune Supergiant have paid him for their second and the last season in the IPL.
4. SHIKHAR DHAWAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad has not retained the veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has served the frachisee last year for a ₹12.5 crore salary. This indicates the franchisee was not ready to offer a better deal to the left-handed opener. Sunrisers will have an option to exercise their “right to match” for Dhawan, for whom it is highly unlikely to get a better deal at the IPL auction over the weekend.
5. TYMAL MILLS
The English man donning the Royal Challengers Bangalore colours in 2017 for a ₹12 crore deal, has been sent to auction by the franchisee. He returns to the auction pool with ₹1 crore base price.
6. ROHIT SHARMA
Undisputedly the most disruptive batsman for the shortest format of the game, Rohit Sharma has already excelled his previous best by ₹3.5 crores with his ₹ 15 crore retention contract with the Mumbai Indians.
7. GAUTAM GAMBHIR
Kolkata Knight Riders have discarded their captain and one of the trusted lieutenants in the Knights’ camp. It will be highly unlikely for the veteran opener to match the ₹10 crore figure of the actual salary he had received last year from KKR. The veteran returns to the auction pool with a 2 crore base price.
8. KIERON POLLARD
The Caribbean all-rounder is back in the IPL auction pool for a base price of ₹2 crore. Kieron Pollard. He will be looking for some surprise to come closer to the ₹9.7 crore salary he had received from Mumbai Indians.
9. SURESH RAINA
The veteran Southpaw is back to don the Chennai franchisees yellow flannels in a ₹11 crore retention deal. This is ₹2 crore more than what Raina was actually played for is ₹12.5 crore retention deal with the now out of IPL Gujarat Lions.
10. AB DE VILLIERS
South African great AB de Villiers. No cricket team can afford to see this maestro of cricketing craft in a rival camp. The Proteas expectedly retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore with a raise of ₹1.5 crore over his earlier agreement with the franchisee.
Incidentally, the latest retention deals have also assured top positions for Kohli, Dhoni & Rohit in the all-time highest paid IPL icons list.
The player auction for 2018 season is slated over the weekend. it will be interesting to see whether a player can displace the top Indian trio from atop the highest paid IPL player table.