Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Are English players value for money in the IPL?

Posted on 22 March 2019 by Benjamin Jones

This Saturday, the noise and the drama of the IPL gets underway when the Chennai Super Kings take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore. England have finally begun to take the tournament seriously and have nine participants this year but how much have they truly added to their franchises?

The IPL is not only considered the best but also the richest domestic tournament in the world with star assets regularly fetching over £1m in the auction. English players are now carving out a piece of this pie. We take a deeper look into how much value for money the English players of last season that will be returning against this year offered.

Rajasthan Royals

Jos Buttler

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Auction Price: £485,000

Price per game: £37,000

One of the stars of last season, Buttler had a remarkable campaign equalling Virender Sehwag’s record of five consecutive 50’s. He ended the campaign on 548 despite leaving before the play offs got under way.

He spent the 2017 campaign at Mumbai Indians and after struggling, the Royals picked him up for a bargain £485,000. This makes Buttler not only one of the most sought after T20 players around but also one of the best value.

His runs last season cost just £885 and in a world where money almost doesn’t matter, that has to be judged as good value. He also weighed in with 10 dismissals (9 catches and 1 stumping) from behind the stumps, with each costing £48,500.

Value for money?

Picked up an an absolute bargain price, Buttler has repaid it already in spades. YES.

Ben Stokes

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Auction Price: £ 1.38m (14.5 crore)

Price pre game: £106,153

Stokes exploded onto the IPL scene in 2017 with the Rising Pune Supergiants when he became the most expensive foreign player ever purchased in the tournament. His highs include 103* against the Gujarat Lions which set Pune on the path to the final that season.

When the Royals returned the following season, they paid slightly less for his services but Stokes has still yet to truly convince that he is worthy of the price tag. In 2018, he scored 196 runs at an average of 16.33 in 13 matches and took 8 wickets at en economy of 8.18. Each run costing £7,040 and each wicket an eye-watering £172,500.

These stats make him on paper the worst value for money English player in the IPL. However, he has much higher expectations than the rest but Stokes certainly needs a breakout year this time around to keep his value so high.

Value for money?

Stokes is undoubtedly a great player but he needs to show it in the IPL more often. He has not yet justified his astronomical price tag. NO.

Chennai Super Kings

Sam Billings

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Auction Price: £110,00 (1 crore)

Price per match: £11,000

Last season was the third IPL campaign in Billings’ career. After being picked up by the Delhi Daredevils in 2016, he has acted a a trailblazer for English players in the competition.

However, he has never been able to pin down a consistent place in a franchise but last season was his best with 10 matches. He averaged just 13.80 with a high score of 56 so will need to up those numbers to claim a regular place this season. His 108 runs were scored at a cost of £1,018 per run.

Value for money?

A relatively small outlay and Billings has shown on occasion he can wield the bat. YESA

David Willey

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Auction price: £225,000

Price per game: £75,000

His time in the IPL has been brief to date but he would have been to be retained by the Chennai Super Kings after being drafted in as a late injury replacement. The immense batting strength saw Willey batting at down at 8 and in his only innings he finished on 0*. He managed to take 2 wickets without ever bowling his full quota of overs at an economy of 9.50.

His few opportunities have meant that each has cost CSK £112,500. He will be hoping to get more this season to improve on these numbers.

Value for money?

A very small sample size but Willey will struggle to get opportunities to show his skills even is he does make it into this CSK side. N/A.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Moeen Ali

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Auction price: £187,00 (1.70 Crore)

Price pre game: £37, 400

Opportunities were hard to come by for the all-rounder in the star-studded Bangalore franchise for Ali last season. He was limited to just five games under Virat Kohli’s captaincy and these were towards the end of the campaign as the side desperately tried to save the faltering season.

As such, Ali’s impact was limited and his 3 wickets cost RCB £62,333 each. He made more of an impact with a bat, he scored 77 runs, with 65 coming off 34 balls against the Sunrisers, reducing his cost per run to £2,420.

Value for money?

One innings of note but we know Ali can offer more, he needs to show this is he is to break into the team. RCB are a traditionally weak bowling unit, that could be his chance. NO.

Feature image credit: Janson Chua