MS Dhoni has drawn maximum salary in IPL history. Photo: BCCI
- With an income of over Rs 150 crore, MS Dhoni is the highest-paid player in the history of IPL
- Virat Kohli tops the charts when it comes to earning most money in one season
- Rohit Sharma, who has led Mumbai Indians to 5 IPL titles, has a salary of Rs 15 crore
The emergence of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a big boon for the BCCI and the cricketers. The board has minted crores by successfully staging 13 editions of the tournament while players have also pocketed handsome incomes. The foreign players have also benefitted from the league. The likes of Ben Stokes, Chris Morris and others have earned huge amounts by plying their trade in the league.
It took years for players to fetch the multi-crore contracts that they now have. Today, we revisit the inaugural season of IPL and have a look at the first salary of marquee cricketers –
Virat Kohli (12 lakh)
Despite winning the U-19 World Cup just a few days before the U-19 draft, Delhi Capitals passed on the opportunity to pick Virat Kohli. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked the youngster and offered him a contract worth Rs 12 lakh. The RCB’s management trusted Kohli and he was the only player that they retained ahead of the IPL 2011 auction.
IPL’s highest run-scorer, Kohli now sits at the 3rd spot on the list of highest earners. The RCB captain has a salary of Rs 17 crore/season, Rs 2 crore more than the highest retention amount.
MS Dhoni (6 crore)
The biggest face in the IPL 2008 auction, MS Dhoni was already a T20 World Cup-winning captain and unsurprisingly emerged as the costliest pick when Chennai Super Kings bought him for Rs 6 crore. He has always remained to be CSK’s first-choice retained player and now has a salary of Rs 15 crore.
Under him, CSK have won 3 IPL trophies and qualified for the second round in 10 out of 11 seasons. He is confirmed to lead the Yellow Army in IPL 2021.
Rohit Sharma (3 crore)
Unlike Kohli, Rohit was already a capped player going into the auction and was considered to be the next big thing. Rohit emerged as one of the top picks in the IPL 2008 auction and joined Deccan Chargers for Rs 3 crore.
The franchise released him ahead of IPL 2011 auction and he joined Mumbai Indians (MI), a team which he has been leading since 2013. Rohit, who has led MI to five IPL title victories, has a salary of Rs 15 crore.
Hardik Pandya (10 lakh)
MI’s second-choice retained player now, Hardik Pandya had first joined them at his base price of Rs 10 lakh, in 2015. A little-known Pandya forced the selectors to take note of him and he was fast-tracked into the national team. Pandya was a capped player before the next IPL season.
Since he is MI’s second-choice retained player, Pandya has a salary of Rs 11 crore now.
AB de Villiers (1.2 crore)
One of the five players to have drawn over Rs 100 crore from IPL, AB de Villiers had started his career with Delhi Capitals, who had bought him for Rs 1.2 crore in 2008. They released him ahead of IPL 2011 auction and De Villiers joined RCB, a team which he has been representing since then.
De Villiers now earns Rs 11 crore every year and he will get a pay raise if the BCCI increases the amount to be paid to retained cricketers.