Biggest Buys at the 2021 IPL Auction – Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, and More

| March 20, 2021 9:14 am PDT

Year after year, the IPL auction dishes up drama, with every team battling it out to secure the signatures of the best T20 players on the planet.

Thankfully, the 2021 Indian Premier League auction produced plenty of talking points.

Overseas stars such as Glenn Maxwell and Moeen Ali were purchased for sizeable fees back in February, while homegrown heroes like Krishnappa Gowtham and Shivam Dube were also among the biggest buys at the 2021 IPL auction.

But who are the most expensive Indian Premier League players this year? Below, I discuss the top 10 most expensive players from the 2021 IPL auction.

10. Shivam Dube

  • Purchased for: 4.40 crore ($0.61 million)
  • Signed by: Rajasthan Royals

Back in 2019, Royal Challengers Bangalore paid 5.00 crore to acquire Shivam Dube’s services. But following a couple of quiet campaigns, the 27-year-old ended up being one of ten players that RCB chose to release at the end of last season.

However, Rajasthan Royals clearly believe that Dube still has plenty to offer.

Player Runs
Devdutt Padikkal 473
Virat Kohli 466
AB de Villiers 454
Aaron Finch 268
Shivam Dube 129

The Royal Challengers ultimately made a 0.60 crore loss on Dube, with RR spending 4.40 crore on the all-rounder. That may seem like a big fee but wait until you find out how much the Royals spent on another all-rounder at the auction!

Keep reading to learn more about the most expensive Indian Premier League players in 2021.

9. Shahrukh Khan

  • Purchased for: 5.25 crore ($0.72 million)
  • Signed by: Punjab Kings

Having entered the auction with a base price of just 20 lakh, Shahrukh Khan didn’t exactly stand out among the plethora of world-class overseas stars in the 2021 IPL auction. I mean, the 25-year-old has never played in the Indian Premier League before.

Still, the Tamil Nadu batsman sparked a bidding war between Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals, which the Kings eventually won.

Little is known about Khan outside of India, yet he obviously possesses something special. Recognized for his ability to score quick runs in the lower-middle order, the IPL newcomer could prove to be a real asset for Punjab.

8. Tom Curran

  • Purchased for: 5.25 crore ($0.72 million)
  • Signed by: Delhi Capitals
Tom Curran

The Royals managed to sign Tom Curran for a bargain price at the 2020 auction, signing the England international for just 1.00 crore last year. But after only making five appearances last season, he was released by Rajasthan.

Overall, DC bought eight players for a combined total of 11.25 crore in the 2021 auction. With Aussie star Steve Smith getting picked up for just 2.20 crore, Curran was the Delhi franchise’s biggest buy.

The all-rounder is yet to fully prove himself on the IPL stage, although there is no doubting his quality.

Curran has represented England across all formats, proving that he can bowl fast and bat well down the order.

7. Moeen Ali

  • Purchased for: 7.00 crore ($0.96 million)
  • Signed by: Chennai Super Kings

Having lost the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, and Shane Watson during the offseason, Chennai Super Kings were expected to be busy at the auction.

As it turned out, CSK fended off competition from Punjab to purchase Moeen Ali for 7.00 crore, making the off-spinning all-rounder one of the biggest IPL buys in 2021.

Statistic Number
Matches 19
Runs 309
Batting Average 20.60
Batting Strike Rate 158.46
Wickets 10
Bowling Average 30.80
Best Figures 2/18
Bowling Economy 7.13

Ali originally entered the auction with a base price of 2 crore, which understandably attracted plenty of attention from multiple franchises. However, the Super Kings won the race to sign the experienced England international.

Across three seasons, Ali took 10 wickets and scored 309 runs in 19 matches for RCB. He could turn out to be a shrewd acquisition for Chennai.

6. Riley Meredith

  • Purchased for: 8.00 crore ($1.12 million)
  • Signed by: Punjab Kings
Riley Meredith

Renowned for his blistering pace, Riley Meredith has become one of the most feared T20 bowlers on the planet over the past couple of years.

The Australian has been a consistent threat for BBL side Hobart Hurricanes for several seasons – and now Punjab has given him the opportunity to showcase his talent in the Indian Premier League.

At 8.00 crore, Meredith was by no means the most expensive buy at the 2021 IPL auction. But for a player with zero IPL experience, he certainly commanded a hefty fee.

Believe it or not – the Kings spent even more money on another Aussie paceman earlier this year!

5. Krishnappa Gowtham

  • Purchased for: 9.25 crore ($1.27 million)
  • Signed by: Chennai Super Kings

Eyebrows were raised when Rajasthan acquired Krishnappa Gowtham for a whopping 6.2 crore in the 2018 auction, but he justified his selection by scoring 126 runs and claiming 11 wickets during his debut IPL season.

The all-rounder was used sparingly in 2019 before switching to Punjab and spending more time on the sidelines in 2020. But it feels like CSK has given Gowtham a new lease of life in 2021.

The 32-year-old struggled to break into the Kings’ playing XI last season, yet I can see him playing an important role for Chennai this year. The Super Kings needed an all-rounder – and they ended up getting two, with Ali joining Gowtham as one of the biggest buys at the 2021 IPL auction.

4. Jhye Richardson

  • Purchased for: 14.00 crore ($1.93 million)
  • Signed by: Punjab Kings
Jhye Richardson

Despite spending 8.00 crore on Meredith, the Kings obviously felt they needed even more firepower in their bowling attack for the upcoming campaign.

Shahrukh Khan (5.25 crore), Moises Henriques (4.20 crore), and Dawid Malan (1.50 crore) were all purchased by Punjab for large sums during February’s auction, yet Jhye Richardson stole the show – signing for 14.00 crore.

If Richardson’s performances in BBL 10 are anything to go by, he could be worth every bit of his giant fee. The Scorchers’ speedster took 29 wickets in 17 Big Bash matches earlier in the year, picking up the Golden Cap for his efforts.

Remarkably, Richardson doesn’t even make it into the top three most expensive players in the 2021 IPL auction.

3. Glenn Maxwell

  • Purchased for: 14.25 crore ($1.96 million)
  • Signed by: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Going for 0.25 crore more than Richardson, Glenn Maxwell was the third-biggest buy at the 2021 IPL auction.

When it was announced that Punjab was going to release Maxwell at the end of last season, every Indian Premier League team was put on red alert. Luckily for the Royal Challengers, they managed to secure the Aussie’s signature.

Matches Not Outs Runs High Score Average Strike Rate
82 11 1505 95 22.13 154.67

A truly destructive batsman, “Maxi” has evolved into a genuine all-rounder in recent times. We all know what he can do with that, but his useful off-spin contributions make him one of the most sought-after players in the T20 game.

By his own high standards, the big-hitting entertainer didn’t have the best of seasons last year. Still, Bangalore wasn’t afraid to drop a colossal 14.25 crore on the 32-year-old.

2. Kyle Jamieson

  • Purchased for: 15.00 crore ($2.07 million)
  • Signed by: Royal Challengers Bangalore
Kyle Jamieson

Kyle Jamieson entered the auction with a modest base price of just 75 lakhs. Following a bidding frenzy, the New Zealander came out the other side as the second-most expensive IPL player in 2021.

Considering that Jamieson is completely new to the Indian Premier League, I think he can count himself lucky.

At 26, the all-rounder is somewhat of a latecomer. He only made his international debut last year, although he has impressed with both bat and ball for the Blackcaps in all three formats of the game since then.

The Royal Challengers will be hoping they didn’t make a mistake by throwing 15.00 crore at Jamieson.

1. Chris Morris

  • Purchased for: 16.25 crore ($2.24 million)
  • Signed by: Rajasthan Royals

Not only was Chris Morris the biggest buy at the 2021 IPL auction, but he is also now the most expensive player in Indian Premier League history.

After spending 4.40 crore on Dube, the Royals forked out a mammoth 16.25 crore on Morris – eclipsing the 16.00 crore that DC spent on Yuvraj Singh back in 2015.

It’s safe to say that Rajasthan’s decision to sign Morris for such a big fee has caused a stir. Having already represented CSK, DC, and RCB over the years, the South African is no stranger to the IPL. But he has never been one of the league’s standout players.

The all-rounder is a serious threat with the ball, as well as with the bat. However, he could ultimately struggle to live up to his price tag.

Closing Thoughts

I don’t think many people could have predicted that Morris would be the most expensive IPL player in 2021.

With all due respect, the South African veteran is an excellent player; let’s not forget that. But with superstars like Maxwell and Curran ending up with smaller price tags than Morris, the 33-year-old was undoubtedly the surprise package at this year’s auction.

Regardless of what Morris achieves with the Royals in 2021, he has a long way to go before he can be considered as one of the greatest Indian Premier League players of all time.

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Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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