One of the most important days on the cricket calendar is drawing near. The 2020 Indian Premier League auction will take place in Calcutta for the first time on 19 December. The excitement among fans and franchisees is increasing every day, and preparations for the big event are in full swing.
Each franchise will try to get the most out of the amount available and go with the best offer. Over the years, the IPL auction has brought many surprises with some relatively unknown names from India and abroad getting away with substantial salaries. Some of these decisions turned out to be golden while some made the franchisees regret their chances. Too few players are likely to receive large bids for this year’s auction.
In this feature, we return to IPL history and take a look at the five most expensive foreign players in the T20 league.
AB de Villiers ₹11 crore
After former South Africa captain AB de Villiers featured for the Delhi Brave at the start of the season, he was bought at auction by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011. Since then, along with Captain Virat Koli, he has been a pillar of RCB’s offensive. Unsurprisingly, RCB caught him with a salary of 11 rupees ahead of the 2020 auction.
While RCB is in the IPL battle as a team as a whole, individual de Villiers rarely disappoints. In the 2015 edition, he hit 513 tracks in 16 games with a hit of 175.08 with a hundred against Mumbai. He did even better in 2016, taking 687 hits in 168.79 strikes. This time he scored 129 unbeaten goals against the Gujarat Lions.
Sunil Narine ₹12.5 crore
Sunil Narine, the mysterious West Indian spinning machine, joined the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012 and has been in the franchise ever since. Before the 2020 auction, he was arrested by KKR for receiving 12.5 crowns. Narine did very well for KKR in its early years, collecting 24, 22, and 21 sacks of unreadable variations in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
With the number of goals drying up in recent years due to the controversy over his bowling stunt and the team accustomed to his style and variety, Narine adds another advantage to his game. In 2017, he was promoted to open the chapter, a move the franchise could not see. With her unorthodox streak, Narine hit 224 routes in 2017 and 357 in attacks 172.30 and 189.89 in 2018, respectively.
Steve Smith ₹12.5 crore
Before the 2020 auction, Steve Smith was caught by the Rajasthan Royals for 12.5 crowns. After missing the 2018 season due to a ball-handling ban, Smith not only returned to the kingdom in 2019 but was also replaced as captain by Ajinkya Rahane mid-season. He has a good streak with his bat, doing 319 laps in 12 games with an impact speed of 116.
Given his form, the Royals will expect a lot more from Smith next season. Smith had a sensational season in 2017, playing for the Rising Pune Supergiant when the Royals were kicked out of the IPL. He took the lead from MS Dhoni and led the country to the finals, completing 472 runs in 15 matches.
David Warner ₹12.5 crore
Apart from their involvement in the ball-fixing scandal, there are other similarities between Smith and David Warner. Both of them get the same salary in IPL. Like Smith, Warner was caught by the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise for 12.5 crores.
Warner is one of the most successful foreign players in IPL history. He led the franchise to their only title win in 2016, amassing 848 draws in 17 games hitting 151.42 with the nineties in the fifties. Warner played 500 songs in each issue as of 2014, the year he joined the Sunrisers. He scored 641 titles in 14 games in 2017 and 692 titles in 12 games in 2019. Warner scored a century in both editions and was a great pairing with England’s Johnny Bairstow last season.
Ben Stokes 14.5 crore
Long before Rising Pune became a Supergiant World Cup superstar, he recognized Ben Stokes’ potential and bought him at auction in 2017 for 14.5 rupees. Stokes proved its worth as a car with 316 rounds in 12 games in 142.98 strikes including a hundred. He’s also retired with the ball, claiming 12 goals with a hit speed of 22.00 and an impressive economy of 7.18 with a best of 3 for 18.
Stokes’ value as a versatile cricketer has been proven this season, and fans saw him around the world during the 2019 World Cup. The Stokes then moved to the Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for 12.5 crowns. He’s not done well in the last two seasons – he’s scored less than 200 runs and less than 10 straps. The Stokes World Cup winner is an entirely different proposition, however, and given his recent exploits, the Royals have no choice but to keep him for the 2020 season.