Who Are The Costliest Buys for Punjab Kings?

image-lfqn7q3hPunjab Kings' quest for IPL glory starts on April 1 against Kolkata Knight Riders (Source: Twitter)

Punjab Kings, one of the stalwart franchises of the Indian Premier League, has a mixed bag of records to show for their 15 seasons in the tournament. Despite their prolonged stint in the league, the team's accomplishments haven't been the most impressive, having qualified for the playoffs only twice. Their last appearance in the IPL final dates back to 2014, and the team has failed to finish in the top four in the past eight seasons.

For More Such Reads from OneCricket, Click Here.

However, what sets Punjab Kings apart from the rest is their extravagant spending during the auction. The franchise has left no stone unturned in their pursuit of the perfect player, and as a result, they have made two of the top four biggest IPL purchases in the history of the league. 

The team created ripples in the cricketing world by shelling out a whopping amount for Sam Curran during the 2023 IPL auction, making the Englishman the costliest player in the history of the cash-rich league.

Despite their lack of success in the tournament, Punjab Kings have built a reputation for themselves as the team that spares no expense to secure the best talent. Their appetite for success is evident from the manner in which they go about their business in the auction room, and their unflinching resolve to build a winning team is truly remarkable.

Let’s take a look at Punjab Kings’ top five costliest buys at the IPL auctions.

5. Kagiso Rabada: INR 9.25 Crore in 2022

At the IPL 2022 auction, the Punjab Kings made a statement of intent by acquiring the services of South African pace sensation, Kagiso Rabada, for a staggering INR 9.25 crore. It was a bold move, but one that seemed to pay off immediately as Rabada proved to be worth every penny. His performances were nothing short of exceptional, as he snared a remarkable 23 wickets in just 13 matches at an impressive average of 17.65 and an economy rate of 8.46.

image-lfqnfuldKagiso Rabada will lead Punjab Kings' bowling attack in IPL 2023 (IPLT20.com)

While the Punjab Kings may have finished sixth in the points table, Rabada's performance was undoubtedly the silver lining in an otherwise disappointing season. As the Punjab Kings gear up for the upcoming IPL, much will depend on the seasoned seamer to guide them to their first IPL title.

4. KL Rahul: INR 11 Crore in 2018

Punjab Kings made a bold move by purchasing the services of the talented right-handed batsman, KL Rahul, for a staggering 11 crore rupees. And, it turned out to be an inspired decision as Rahul justified every penny with his outstanding performances for the franchise. In his four-year stint with the Punjab Kings, the 30-year-old notched up a remarkable 2548 runs in 55 games at an impressive average of over 54.

image-lfqnju56KL Rahul was Punjab Kings' batting mainstay during his stint with the franchise (IPLT20.com)

Such was Rahul's impact that he was elevated to the role of captain for the IPL 2020 season. While he didn't have much success as a captain, he continued to lead from the front with his batting heroics, and his contribution with the bat was crucial to the team's fortunes.

 However, despite his best efforts, the Punjab Kings failed to make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, and Rahul decided to move on in search of new opportunities. He left the franchise ahead of IPL 2022 and was snapped up by the Lucknow Super Giants, where he currently leads the team.

3. Liam Livingstone: INR 11.50 Crore in 2022

The IPL 2022 auction was abuzz with anticipation for the coveted English all-rounder, Liam Livingstone. The hard-hitting batter sparked a bidding frenzy between several teams, including Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Giants, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, it was Punjab Kings who emerged victorious in their pursuit of the explosive all-rounder, shelling out a whopping 11.50 crore rupees to secure his services.

image-lfqnns20Liam Livingstone had a stellar IPL 2022 with the bat (Source: iplt20.com)

The swashbuckling batter's impact in the Punjab Kings' batting order was palpable in IPL 2022. In the 14 games that he played, he amassed a staggering 437 runs, including four half-centuries, at a remarkable strike rate of 182.08. The franchise will be hoping that he can replicate his heroics in the upcoming IPL, as his performances will largely determine Punjab's success in the competition.

2. Jhye Richardson: INR 14 Crore in 2021

Sometimes, the franchises are willing to go above and beyond their budget to acquire the services of a desired player. This was the case for Punjab Kings in the 2021 season, as they splurged a staggering INR 14 crore on Australian pacer Jhye Richardson. Unfortunately, this move proved to be a costly mistake for the franchise, as Richardson was unable to play the entire season.

image-lfqnv78yJhye Richardson was released by Punjab Kings after just one season (Twitter)

In the three games that he did play, he only managed to take three wickets at a poor economy rate of 10.63. Despite his underwhelming performance for Punjab Kings, Richardson was still sought after at the IPL 2023 auction, where he was bought by Mumbai Indians for his base price of 1.5 crore rupees. However, the Australian quick suffered a hamstring injury and has been ruled out of the tournament.

1. Sam Curran: INR 18.5 Crore in 2023

At the IPL 2023 auction, Punjab Kings made waves with their record-breaking purchase of English all-rounder, Sam Curran, shelling out a jaw-dropping INR 18.5 crore to secure his services. This eye-watering amount cemented Curran's place as the highest-paid cricketer ever to grace the league, a feat that left many stunned and others envious.

image-lfqnx8mbSam Curran is in line to make his second debut for the Punjab based franchise (Twitter)

The southpaw's journey to this point began in 2019 when he first donned the PBKS jersey, playing nine games and showcasing his talents with both bat and ball. He went on to represent the Chennai Super Kings for two seasons, where he continued to impress with his all-round abilities. Unfortunately, he was forced to sit out the IPL 2022, but he made a triumphant return to the international stage, earning the 'Player of the Tournament’ award in the T20 World Cup 2022.

Now, with the Punjab Kings pinning their hopes on him for the upcoming IPL 2023, all eyes will be on Curran to see if he can live up to his astronomical price tag. Only time will tell if the young Englishman was the missing piece in the puzzle that finally leads the Punjab Kings to IPL glory.