Foreign IPL Players: The Shining Light


Imagine having US$2.5 million at your disposal, the possibilities are endless. However, we reside in reality, unlike the IPL’s peculiar and surreal world where money seems trivial unless it’s in astronomical figures.

This is exemplified by the fact that a dozen foreign players were recruited from various countries and paid a total of INR205,500,000 (USD2,574,563 at the time of writing), yet they haven’t even played a single game in this year’s tournament.

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It’s worth noting that the tournament will soon be two-thirds completed, following the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders game on Thursday.

These players are undoubtedly overpaid and underworked, with Quinton de Kock earning USD825,638 by just sitting on the bench for Lucknow Super Giants, while Dasun Shanaka pocketed USD61,154 from Gujarat Titans as a replacement for Kane Williamson who sustained an injury during the tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings on March 31.

Joe Root, Matthew Wade, Dewald Brevis, Chris Jordan, Daniel Sams, Odean Smith, Finn Allen, Obed McCoy, Donovan Ferreira, and Lungi Ngidi make up the list of foreign players who have yet to play a single game in this year’s IPL.

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Their collective absence is perplexing considering the amount of investment involved, and the fact that Sam Curran, the most expensive player in IPL history, was bought for USD2,262,441 by Punjab Kings, a sum that pales in comparison to the combined fees of these well-rested internationals.

Half of these players are shared between Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat, while the others are attached to Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Punjab Kings.

However, the IPL’s restriction on the number of foreign players in each team (maximum of four) is a significant contributing factor to this issue.

This limitation is justifiable, considering the league’s name, “Indian Premier League,” and its ownership by Indians.

Additionally, of the 243 players in IPL squads, 164 (67.49%) are Indian. The foreign player quota and team balance are essential factors to consider in determining the selection of players for each game.

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The English Premier League’s foreign ownership and low percentage of English players (36.03%) offer a cautionary tale on what happens when the numbers don’t make sense.

Nonetheless, keeping an eye on who plays and who doesn’t in the IPL is a compelling exercise for cricket fans worldwide, despite there not being as many reasons as having USD2.5 million.