The IPL 2022 Mega Auction is set to happen soon. It is after four years that a mega auction will be happening. It last happened back in 2018. In a mega auction, usually, players don’t go for a big amount as all franchises have to build their teams. Nevertheless, there have been a few players who have tested the resolve of the franchises in this regard. As the countdown starts for IPL 2022 Mega Auction, here is a look back at the five most expensive buys in the 2018 Mega Auction.
1) Ben Stokes – INR 12.5 Cr (Rajasthan Royals)
English all-rounder Ben Stokes leads this list of the most expensive buys in the 2018 Mega Auction. Stokes made his IPL debut in 2017. Despite it being his first campaign, he lit the tournament up with his performances. He scored 316 runs and picked 12 wickets for Rising Pune Supergiants in that season.
A quality pace bowling all-rounder is rated highly in the competition. Especially if the player is of the stature of Stokes, franchises tend to go hard. Rajasthan Royals, who are usually known to go behind value-for-money cricketers, surprised everyone with their intent. They broke the bank to make Stokes the most expensive player of the auctions.
2) Jaydev Unadkat – INR 11.5 Cr (Rajasthan Royals)
Jaydev Unadkat took 24 wickets in IPL 2017 at an average of 13.42 and an economy of 7.03. He was one of the main reasons why RPS reached the finals in that edition.
Domestic left-arm seamers have been a rarity in recent years. Unadkat had showcased his potential to lead the bowling attack of an XI, and hence, Rajasthan Royals decided to hire him. Most of the other teams were also interested in the Saurashtra cricketer. Hence, the bid skyrocketed, and he fetched INR 11.5 Cr at the event.
3) Manish Pandey – INR 11 Cr (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Sunrisers Hyderabad has always been a top-heavy team and this has affected them on numerous occasions. Hence, at the 2018 mega auction, they were intent on strengthening the middle-order.
In this pursuit, they went after Manish Pandey. Manish had been a consistent performer and was popular for his knocks under pressure. He was also part of Team India then, and hence, SRH decided to pay him a big salary. Manish was not able to justify his price tag and could be released ahead of IPL 2022 mega auction.
4) KL Rahul – INR 11 Cr (Punjab Kings)
KL Rahul was initially regarded as a Test specialist. However, in 2016, he did well for Royal Challengers Bangalore and helped the team reach the finals. Soon, KL made his India debut in limited-overs cricket and cemented his spot in the squad.
Although he missed IPL 2017, Rahul stocks were still high. He is a quality opener and a wicket-keeper, too. Punjab Kings wanted a player for their top-order and went all the way for KL. Since then, the Karnataka batsman has been the best player for the franchise.
5) Chris Lynn – INR 9.6 Cr (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Chris Lynn stands at No.5 on this list of the most expensive buys in the 2018 Mega Auction. Kolkata Knight Riders are known to back their players and this time around, they shelled out INR 9.6 Cr to re-hire one of their old cricketers.
It was surprising because till then, the Aussie opener had not had a season where he scored more than 300 runs. That said, his big-hitting skills were already put on display. Although he did well in the next two campaigns, KKR released him after he struggled with inconsistency.