The ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 may have plummeted into a catastrophe, with players and support staff of franchises testing positive for the deadly COVID-19.
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that the Monday night fixture between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has been postponed due to the COVID-related worries in the KKR group.
IPL issued an official statement, revealing that Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrior have been tested positive for coronavirus and sent into isolation. Later in the day, it was revealed that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach L. Balaji and a member of the team’s service staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
So far, the ongoing fourteenth edition of the cash-rich league has seen 29 matches played at different venues. Delhi Capitals (DC), with 6 wins out of 8 games, are positioned at the top in the points table, while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), with 6 losses out of 7 outings, are at the bottom.
As the season deals with COVID surge in the country, let’s have a relook at players who are the highest priced for their respective franchises. This list features those cricketers as well who bagged the expensive contracts in the 2021 auctions.
8. KL Rahul (Punjab Kings) – 11 cr
KL Rahul has been a bankable player for Punjab Kings (PBKS) and the captain of the side. The opener has scored the number of runs and have built some important partnerships at the top of the order. He was retained for INR 11 crore for IPL 2021. Currently, Rahul is in hospital after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis last Saturday.
7. David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) – 12.50 cr
Australian opener David Warner has been the key asset in the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) side. Under his leadership, the ‘Orange Army’ won their only IPL title back in 2016. However, in the ongoing season, Warner has been axed from captaincy after SRH faced back-to-back losses and Kane Williamson was named the new skipper. The ‘pocket dynamite’ was retained by SRH management for INR 12.50 crores for IPL 2021.
6. Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals) – 15 cr
In the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who was ruled out of IPL 2021 due to injury, Rishabh Pant was handed over the captaincy of the Delhi Capitals (DC). He has so far led the team quite remarkably well as the last year finalists are placed at the top spot in the standings. Ahead of 2021 auctions, Pant was retained for INR 15 crores.
5. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) – 15 cr
Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in the history of the cash-rich league. MI is the only team that has won as many as five IPL titles – most by any franchise. With 5480 runs, Rohit is the 4th highest run-getter in IPL. Ahead of the 2021 auctions, the Mumbaikar was retained at INR 15 crores.
4. MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) – 15 cr
The veteran MS Dhoni is one of the most experienced players of IPL and the second most successful captain after Rohit Sharma. Under his leadership, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have won IPL for three times. Despite being retired from international cricket, MSD was retained by CSK management for a whopping INR 15 crores for IPL 2021.
3. Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) – 15.5 cr
Pat Cummins gained the biggest contract for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when he was roped in for INR 15.5 crores during IPL 2020 auctions. He performed outstandingly well for the team in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and on that basis, the Aussie paceman was retained at the same price for IPL 2021.
2. Chris Morris (Rajasthan Royals) – 16.25 cr
What Pat Cummins did for KKR last year, South African all-rounder Chris Morris did for Rajasthan Royals (RR) this year. The Proteas star became the most expensive overseas buy in the history of the lucrative league when he was roped in at INR 16.25 crores.
1. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 17 cr
The superstar of Indian cricket Virat Kohli tends to remain number one in every aspect of the game. No wonder he tops this list as well. Just like previous years, Kohli was retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a whopping INR 17 crores for IPL 2021. Need not to mention that the RCB leader is also the highest run-scorer in league with 6076 runs to his credit.