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Most Expensive Player In The History Of IPL Auctions Until 2011, Gautam Gambhir Was Expecting A $1,800,000 Bid

Rishikesh Sharma

Most Expensive Player In The History Of IPL Auctions Until 2011, Gautam Gambhir Was Expecting A $1,800,000 Bid

Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir was the most expensive player in the history of Indian Premier League auctions until 2011. However, he was not expecting an amount in excess of $2 million to be splurged on him. In spite being at the peak of his career at the time, Gambhir had predicted a maximum of $1.8 million bid for himself.

Gambhir, who played for his home franchise Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) between 2008-2010, was released ahead of the 2011 auction. It was certain that Gambhir would generate a lot of interest in the bidding process considering that he was one of the most sought-after players back in the day. With quite a few franchises looking for a captain, Gambhir fulfilled that criteria as well.

In his initial three seasons for Delhi, Gambhir scored 1,097 runs in 39 matches at an average of 31.28. He managed to score eight half-centuries during the process. These numbers were certainly below par for a player like him, but his stature was enough in order to create the required buzz around him in the auction.

Most Expensive Player In The History Of IPL Auctions Until 2011, Gautam Gambhir Was Expecting A $1,800,000 Bid

Kolkata Knight Riders acquired Gambhir’s services for a price of $2.4 million which was $600,000 more than what the left-handed batter had anticipated. Talking to the Times of India on day of IPL 2011 auction, Gambhir was asked whether he will be disappointed about not playing for Delhi anymore. The southpaw, a committed professional, mentioned that he wouldn’t face any difficulties in adjusting to a new team environment.

“I was expecting to get around $1.8 million, but I am thankful to all the teams who had bid for me. I have always given my best shot while playing for Delhi and I will be at my best for KKR as well.”

Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Pune Warriors India and Mumbai Indians all tried to sign Gambhir, but KKR had their intentions clear about getting him. The decision was eventually proved right as he led them to a couple of IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.

How KKR Beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala To Acquire Gautam Gambhir In IPL 2011 Auction?

Readers must note that IPL 2011 auction was the first such event for KKR CEO Venky Mysore. Speaking on The RK Show in 2020, he made it clear that Gambhir was not their only plan, but him being the first player to go under the hammer led to an exponential rise in the bidding amount. With Kochi was also trying exceedingly hard to sign Gambhir, the Knight Riders had to exceed their budget.

“The first name in the 2011 auctions – Gautam Gambhir – the very first name that came in. It was unbelievable. We were quite determined. We had our budget but my instinct said that it was the right thing to do. Even though it exceeded our circuit break-up because the Kochi team was equally motivated. There was a dog-fight for that. The rest is history.”

For the unversed, Mysore is still associated with the franchise and has been an important part of their global plans as well. Gambhir’s selection is still considered one of the best decisions taken by the Knight Riders. The way he led the team as an example. After Gambhir’s departure, the team has never looked like a title-winning side despite making the final of IPL 2021.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma


An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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