At any IPL auction, we’re used to seeing huge amounts of money thrown around. Every year, new records are set with the world’s best T20 exponents anxious to make their mark at the biggest cricket tournament on the planet. The year 2019 was no exception so, as IPL 12 gets underway, just who are the highest paid IPL players at this year’s competition?
Top 10 Highest Paid IPL Players
1. Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore: $2,656,250
India’s national captain is the world’s number one batsman across multiple formats. Therefore, it should be no surprise to see Virat Kohli start at the very top of the list of highest paid IPL players. He is vital to the chances of Royal Challengers Bangalore making it through to the playoffs in a side where there is very little batting support.
In a record breaking year back in 2016, Kohli scored 973 runs with no fewer than four centuries. So why wouldn’t you pay the biggest bucks for such a talent?
2. MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings: $2,343,750
We have three players following on in second place on the list of highest paid IPL players. So we’ve listed them in order of seniority. Chennai Super Kings have won three IPL trophies and on each occasion, they’ve been guided heavily by their skipper MS Dhoni.
As he reaches his late 30s, Dhoni remains a calming figure behind the stumps. Furthermore, he will rarely let the side down if needed with the bat. Dhoni is CSK’s finisher and has won many matches from seemingly hopeless positions. That’s why MSD attracts such a big salary.
3. Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians: $2,343,750
Completing our trio of captains is Rohit Sharma. Like MS Dhoni, he has been involved with a three-time winning franchise. Rohit leads from the front in every respect and Mumbai Indians look a much better team when their skipper comes in at the top of the order.
He has one IPL century to his name to date, plus six centuries overall in this format. He’s also likely to pass 8,000 T20 runs at the 2019 IPL. So, clearly, Rohit Sharma is worthy of such big numbers.
4. Rishabh Pant, Delhi Capitals: $2,343,750
If a young player earns as much as Dhoni and Rohit, then he must be a special talent. And that’s definitely the case with Rishabh Pant. He’s always been an exciting hitter, but when Pant blasted a rapid century for Delhi in 2018, the franchise knew they would have to spend big to retain his services.
Since then, Pant has gone on to claim a place in the national setup. As the key man with the gloves behind the stumps, he’s a valuable player in every respect for Delhi Capitals in 2019.
5. Ben Stokes, Rajasthan Royals: $1,953,130
Ben Stokes commanded big money at the auction when he first arrived at the IPL. So when Rajasthan returned to the tournament in 2018, the franchise picked up their man. Stokes is a threat with bat and ball and he’s also a brilliant fielder. That ability to turn a game from anywhere on the pitch is, therefore, the main reason why he slots in here as the fifth highest-paid player in 2019.
Stokes smashed an IPL ton for Rising Pune Supergiant against Gujarat Lions in 2017. But it’s the Rajasthan Royals who will be hoping for more devastating displays this year.
6. David Warner, Sunrisers Hyderabad: $1,953,130
Sunrisers Hyderabad have taken back David Warner following his one year absence from the tournament. He subsequently quickly repaid that faith by top scoring in his side’s opening game of IPL 12. The left hander played a big part in the Sunrisers’ solitary tournament success in 2016, scoring 848 runs and finishing second behind Virat Kohli in the race for the Orange Cap.
After a difficult period for the player, Warner now needs another big season with the bat as SRH target their second title.
7. Sunil Narine, Kolkata Knight Riders: $1,953,130
He’s been one of the most consistent players in the IPL for many years now. Moreover, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine seems to get better and better. In 2018, the West Indian picked up 17 wickets, but he’s blossoming into an all-rounder as his pinch hitting efforts produced 357 runs. As a result of that performance, Narine became IPL 11 player of the series.
Once again, he will have a vital role to play if the Knight Riders are to go deep into the current tournament.
8. Steve Smith, Rajasthan Royals: $1,953,130
Aussie Steve Smith was absent from IPL 2018, like his compatriot David Warner. Nevertheless, he’s back this year with the Rajasthan Royals and he has a big point to prove. Critics may claim that he’s not the most explosive of scorers. However, Smith is another man with an IPL century to his name and he has a healthy strike rate of over 125 in this format.
He won’t be needed for his leg spin or his leadership qualities in 2019. But Smith’s composed batting will be crucial if the Royals are to get past the regular season.
9. AB De Villiers, Royal Challengers Bangalore: $1,718,750
When Virat Kohli made that glut of runs in 2016, AB De Villiers wasn’t too far behind in the race for the Orange Cap. Between them, the two batters powered their RCB side all the way to the final. Three years on, and they remain pivotal to their side’s hopes.
He is one of the most innovative T20 batsmen around. As well as a man who can score across 360 degrees of the ground. Admittedly, he’s reached veteran status now. Still, AB De Villiers among the highest paid IPL players in the world for good reason.
10. Chris Morris, Delhi Capitals: $1,718,750
The final name on this list of highest paid IPL players may be something of a surprise. Chris Morris isn’t even a regular starter in South Africa’s limited overs sides. However, Delhi Capitals know his true worth. A genuine all-rounder, Morris has swung games for Delhi with both bat and ball and he still commands a big salary in 2019.
Known more as a bowler, he has over 200 wickets in the short form. But his T20 batting stats are more than healthy with a top score of 82 and a strike rate in excess of 150.