The IPL is the most popular cricket league on the planet. About 10 years ago, it was the first sports event to be broadcast live on a YouTube channel. One of the reasons for the amazing popularity of the IPL is the array of world-class players that gather in India every year to play in the T20 cricket tournament.
Undoubtedly, India has the greatest cricket following on the planet. The IPL is the number one league in the country with far more followers than the famous Indian Super League. During its history, a number of great players have competed for various clubs in the sport and below is a compilation of some of the very best that the IPL had produced.
- Suresh Raina
Raina is the most capped player in IPL history. He is one of the few players who has an aggregate of more than 5000 runs. With his club, the Chennai Super Kings, he emerged the top scorer in two consecutive editions, winning the IPL trophy in 2010 and 2011.
After a short stint at the Gujarat Lions, Raina returned to the Super Kings and won another title with the club in 2018. At 193 caps, he still holds the record for playing the highest number of games in the league.
- Lasith Malinga
The Sri Lankan Malinga is one of the few players who has taken over 100 wickets in the IPL. He is the greatest all-time wicket-taker in the competition with 170 wickets since the competition started in 2008. His unusual and fast bowling style has struck fear in many a batsman and earned him the nickname Slinga Malinga. Indeed both fans and bettors alike have wholeheartedly embraced the bowler and his name appearing on the betting guide of the Indian Premier League is rightly justified.
Malinga also has the IPL’s best bowling average of 19.80. It’s also noteworthy that this Mumbai Indians star has played fewer matches than any of the other top five bowlers. He also played a crucial role in the victory of Mumbai Indians over the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 league final.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni
He is the first and only captain who has won the IPL trophy back-to-back (in 2010 and 2011). Dhoni has provided excellent leadership and served his team as a superb batsman.
Dhoni is a famous cricket player, dearly loved by fans who gladly chant “Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni” when he walks onto the field. Dhoni is the 7th highest run-getter and has smashed the 3rd most sixes in the IPL. He had been a captain for 11 out of 12 seasons — a clear demonstration of his exceptional leadership skills and talent.
- Rohit Sharma
A super talented batsman who has played regularly since the first season of the IPL. Sharma is one of the few players to have scored over 100 wickets in IPL history. As a captain, he has won the most titles in the IPL.
Sharma propelled the Mumbai Indians from a team desperate to win the title to one that eventually lifted the trophy four times. Sharma lifted his first IPL trophy with the Deccan Chargers in 2009. Thereafter, he won four titles for the Mumbai Indians over seven seasons, from 2013 to 2019.
- Virat Kohli
The skipper of the Indian cricket team is the undisputed best-limited overs batsman. His team, the Royal Challengers have not won the IPL title, but their talented skipper is still one of the league’s best batsmen.
Kohli is the only player that has played for his club for 12 consecutive seasons. Kohli had an unprecedented season in 2016, where he had 973 runs with an average of 81.08. He earned the most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament that season.
- Chris Gayle
He is one of the most powerful batsmen in the sport. Chris Gayle hails from the West Indies and he has a brilliant performance at the IPL. In his powerful hard-hitting style, he hit 175 against Pune in 2013 and made the highest score in IPL history.
Known for being able to single-handedly deal with the opposition, he had his best season in the league in 2011, when he made 608 runs from 12 games.
- David Warner
Arguably, David Warner is the best foreign player to play in the tournament. A gifted left-handed player, he has been consistently ranked among the top five all-time run-scorers.
Warner will always be remembered for leading Sunrisers Hyderabad to their only IPL victory in 2016. That year, he was the third foreign captain to lift the trophy.
- Sachin Tendulkar
A legend of the sport, he is the first Indian player to win the tournament MVP award. Tendulkar has earned many batting awards and he is one of the most adored cricketers in the world. Until his retirement, his batting was underscored by the purest principles: precision strokes, perfect balance, minimal movement, and anticipation. His last appearance was playing for the Mumbai Indians in 2013.
Those are some of the greatest cricket players that have played the world’s most popular Twenty20 cricket league. Obviously, there are other players that have had great performances in the league from 2008 to date. But we can’t talk about the IPL without mentioning the eight players listed above.