The Indian Premier League (IPL) is inarguably the most lucrative T20 cricket league in the world. The best players take part in this cash-rich league every year and the fans are entertained with some of the most high-octane cricketing action.
The franchises come up with different strategies every year, ahead of the auctions, as they plan to assemble a title-winning unit. To get the best players, the teams have to shell out huge chunks of money in the auction. However, one downside is that the players do not necessarily justify the price tag.
This year, four teams made it to the playoffs: Gujarat Titans (GT), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Mumbai Indians (MI).
While CSK have booked a place in the final, LSG exited the tournament after losing to MI in the Eliminator. GT and MI will now battle against each other in Qualifier 2 on Friday for a place in the final.
Three of the five most expensive players this year are part of teams that qualified for the playoffs this year.
TSN takes a closer look at how the big money signings have performed in IPL 2023.
MORE: Latest IPL 2023 betting and odds
Sam Curran (Punjab Kings, INR 18.5 Crores)
Making his IPL debut in 2019 with Punjab Kings (PBKS), the Englishman is one of the best all-rounders in IPL and world cricket.
He picked up a hat-trick in his debut season and was subsequently bought by CSK in the 2020 IPL auctions. He played for them for two seasons and withdrew from the tournament in 2022 to focus on his rehab.
Back in the auction pool this year, Curran was coming off a tremendous T20 World Cup with England in 2022, helping them win their second title and winning the Player of the Tournament in the process.
At this season’s auctions, Punjab Kings bought the player for a whopping 18.5 Crores, making him the most expensive IPL signing ever.
However, the 24-year-old couldn’t help PBKS qualify in the playoffs. Although he had his best season in terms of batting, he was uninspiring with the ball, picking up just 10 wickets.
Season Rating: 5.5/10
Sam Curran batting stats in IPL 2023
Sam Curran bowling stats in IPL 2023
Cameron Green (Mumbai Indians, INR 17.5 Crores)
Cameron Green made headlines even before playing a single match in the IPL as he became the most expensive buy for MI, the most successful franchise in the league. He also became the most expensive IPL debutant as well as the second-most expensive player ever.
Green has been one of the best players MI this season, who were a tad inconsistent but managed to qualify for the playoffs.
He scored an effortless unbeaten century in MI’s final league game, which was a do-or-die match against Sunrisers Hyderabad with their playoffs hopes hanging by a thread, to help them chase down 201 in just 18 overs.
The Aussie all-rounder is proving why the MI think-tank spent so much on him, and if they go on to win the IPL this year, Green will turn out to be worthy of every penny paid for him.
Season Rating (so far): 8.5/10
Cameron Green batting stats IPL 2023
Cameron Green bowling stats IPL 2023
Ben Stokes (Chennai Super Kings, INR 16.25 Crores)
CSK’s most expensive signing ever, and the joint third-most expensive signing ever along with Chris Morris, Stokes was supposed to be one of the cornerstones for the Men in Yellow after a disappointing IPL 2022.
However, his season never really took off due to injuries. In the two games that he managed to play, he didn’t really make any noticeable contributions with either bat or ball.
Even though he returned to fitness, he was left out of the starting XI as MS Dhoni had found the perfect combination.
Stokes left IPL ahead of the playoffs and returned to England to give himself enough time to prepare for the upcoming Ashes.
Season Rating: 1/10
Ben Stokes batting stats IPL 2023
Ben Stokes bowling stats IPL 2023
Nicholas Pooran (Lucknow Super Giants, INR 16 Crores)
One of the most destructive T20 batsmen around, Pooran did not live up to the billing with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2022, scoring 306 runs in 13 innings.
LSG bought him this year for a whopping Rs. 16 Crores and the West Indies southpaw showed exactly why. He played several match-winning knocks for his side and played a pivotal role in LSG reaching the playoffs, finishing as the team’s second-highest run-getter behind Marcus Stoinis.
He also scored a half-century in 15 balls against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which is the joint third-fastest fifty in the IPL.
Season Rating: 7/10
Nicholas Pooran batting stats IPL 2023
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Harry Brook (Sunrisers Hyderabad, INR 13.25 Crores)
Brook had taken the cricketing world by storm since making his Test debut for England in September 2022, scoring over 800 runs in six texts at an average of more than 80 and a strike rate close to 100.
The talented Englishman also made waves for his exploits in The Hundred, England’s ‘100 balls an innings’ tournament.
There was a lot of hype around the player’s IPL debut, but he could manage just 29 runs in his first three outings, which raised doubts around whether SRH made the right decision to pay such a huge amount for someone relatively inexperienced in international cricket.
He scored an unbeaten century in the next game to raise hopes.
It looked like the Yorkshire-born batsman would go on to take the IPL by storm, but his unbeaten century would remain his first and last statement with the bat as he managed to add just 61 more runs to his tally in the next seven games to cap off a disappointing debut season.
Season Rating: 4.5/10
Harry Brook batting stats IPL 2023