It’s no secret that IPL has revolutionized global cricket forever. Starting with player’s wages, broadcasting rights, fans engagement and the atmosphere around cricket have all undergone a paradigm change. The IPL today attracts the biggest names in world cricket. The mega-auctions include 100s of players from India and abroad who throw their hats in, in the hope of landing a lucrative contract with the franchise.
We have in a previous piece spoken how the invention of IPL has also brought a positive change in the lives of players. Today, a lot of lives have changed forever on the back of strong IPL contracts. Earlier players looked at only international cricket to make a living out of cricket. That is not the case today. Uncapped players command prices that ensure financial security for them. There are cases of foreign players going for 15-16 crores rupees per season. These sorts of numbers were reserved for American basketball and European football but are today being witnessed in cricket as well.
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In all of this fanfare, there are instances of players going for multi-million dollar contracts but heavily underperforming in the season. We look at 5 such players who could not justify their hefty price tags.
1. Jaydev Unadkat
He had a phenomenal season with Pune in Pune and was instrumental in their journey to the finals. On the basis of that performance, Rajasthan snapped him for an incredible 11.5 crores making him the costliest Indian fast bowler in the IPL at that time. However, his performance was lackluster with just 11 wickets at an economy of 9.5. He went for plenty in the death. He was not even among the top-25 in the leading wicket-takers list.
2. Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh is one of the most loved cricketers in India and he has tremendous performances in T20 cricket to command any price he wishes. He has had multiple record-breaking IPL auctions. One of them being the 2015 IPL auction when Delhi paid 16 crores to have him on board. His returns for Delhi were ordinary as he managed to score just 248 runs in 14 innings at an average of 19.07 and a strike rate of 118.09.
3. Glenn Maxwell
His 2018 season was so dismal that he would want to forget as soon as he can. He was picked by Delhi for a whopping 9 crores. In the 12 matches he fared for the franchise, he scored just 169 runs at a strike rate of 140 and opted out of the next season of IPL. He had one note-worthy performance where he scored a 22 ball 47 against KKR.
4. Pawan Negi
Indian bowlers are sought after in IPL and Negi was the star of the 2016 season. Delhi went gung-ho after him picking him for a mega 8.5 crores which were astronomical for an uncapped talent. However, Negi’s return was meager. He could pick up only one wicket in the season and bowled at an economy of 9.33.
5. Kevin Pietersen
In 2014, Delhi was desperate to put up a winning combination. They believed that they had got it with Pietersen as their captain. He was paid a food INR 9 crores for the season. He led them to a record nine consecutive defeats in the season. As a batsman, he scored only 294 runs from 11 matches averaging just 29 with only one 50-plus score.