A mega-auction defines the success of a franchise over a period of at least three years. It was in 2011 that the first mega-auction happened. Of course, in 2008, too, it was a full-fledged event but there were no retentions apart from the “Icon Player” concept then. Teams were a bit sceptical in terms of retentions ahead of the IPL 2011 mega-auction. Hence, the bidding event was brim with superstars. As the countdown starts for IPL 2022 Mega Auction, here is a look back at the five most expensive buys in the 2011 Mega Auction.
1) Gautam Gambhir – $2.4 Million (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Gautam Gambhir stands at the top of the list of the most expensive buys in the 2011 Mega Auction. Gambhir’s form had slightly dropped in 2009 and 2010, where he managed just under 300 runs. Hence, he was released.
Meanwhile, KKR had a disastrous start to the competition and had to face many controversies. They were looking for a leader and they went hard for Gautam Gambhir. The franchise assigned him the project and apart from being the highest run-scorer, Gambhir also delivered two trophies. Hence, he was worth every penny that was spent at the event.
2) Yusuf Pathan – $2.1 Million (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Yusuf Pathan was a top-rated Indian T20 player at the moment. He had become popular for his big-hitting skills and useful off-spin. Since KKR was building a team from the scratch, they decided to hire Yusuf Pathan.
Over the next few years, Yusuf enjoyed a great time at KKR. Overall, in 106 games, he scored 1893 runs apart from collecting 21 wickets. Yusuf also added two medals apart from the one he secured in 2008 with Rajasthan Royals.
3) Robin Uthappa – $2.1 Million (Pune Warriors India)
After signing him for $2.1 Million by Pune Warriors, the owners mentioned the reasoning behind the move. They said that they wanted a player whom the opposition bowlers should fear about, and at that time in the league, Robin was certainly that type of a cricketer.
In 2010, he had scored 374 runs at a strike rate of 171.56. He was also a part-time wicket-keeper, and hence, teams were interested in signing him. With a full-purse, PWI stayed till the end for the player and took him home.
4) Rohit Sharma – $2 Million (Mumbai Indians)
Despite being a youngster, Rohit Sharma made close to 300 runs in each of the first three editions. In IPL 2009, he also won the Emerging Player Award. That season, apart from his batting exploits, he also collected 11 wickets.
Sachin Tendulkar was in the final few years of his career and Mumbai Indians needed a new face. Better if the name was from Mumbai. Hence, they decided to target Rohit Sharma. They won the bid, and at the moment, they are the most successful franchise with five trophies, all won under the leadership of their most expensive purchase in 2011.
5) Irfan Pathan – $1.4 Million (Delhi Capitals)
Usually, a performance preceding a mega-auction plays a huge role in the price of a player at the event. Irfan Pathan stands at No.5 in this list of the most expensive buys in the 2011 Mega Auction. The reason for this was his show in IPL 2010 for Punjab.
He scored 276 runs and collected 15 wickets in that campaign. Multi-utility cricketers are very much needed in IPL, and Delhi Capitals were sort of going through a transition. Hence, they betted high on Irfan and spent $1.4 Million for the services of the Indian all-rounder.