Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada emerged as South Africa’s most expensive player at this past weekend’s two-day 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
The 26-year-old was sold to Punjab Kings for a staggering $1.233 million (R18.75 million) – give or take a few rands depending on the ever fluctuating exchange rate.
Rabada will pocket that much EACH season should the Punjab Kings elect to retain him beyond the 2022 tournament.
‘KG’ was a key member of the Delhi Capitals since signing for them in 2017, but the franchise elected to rather retain his fast-bowling team-mate Anrich Nortje and cut Rabada loose.
Calculating how many matches and overs Rabada will bowl in this year’s tournament is nigh on impossible.
But here at The South African website we thrive on the impossible, but the stats and figures below do come with a disclaimer that they may well change wildly between now and the final in May!
What we do know for certain is that each of the 10 teams competing will play a minimum of 14 group matches and could play 15, 16 or a maximum of 17 matches should they reach the playoffs.
Should the Punjab Kings play the maximum 17 matches and Kagiso Rabada plays in every one and bowls his allowed four overs in each (24 balls, let’s assume he’s sorted out his annoying no-ball tendancies) that’s a maximum of 408 deliveries in total.
At R18.75 million for 408 deliveries, Rabada will earn a simply staggering R45 955 every time he runs into bowl.
Let that sink in for a moment!
However, it’s unlikely the Punjab Kings play 17 matches (they don’t have a great squad) and there will be times Rabada is rested and when he does play, he doesn’t bowl his full allotment of 4 overs.
Thus calculations are more for ‘fun’ than anything you can take to the bank on happening.
Kagiso Rabada also has Proteas commitments
There’s the very real possibility Rabada misses a number of IPL matches due to his Proteas commitments.
The dates for the 2022 IPL have yet to be confirmed, but the tournament is expected to begin in late March and conclude in May.
The Proteas are due to play a two-Test series against Bangladesh on 30 March to 3 April (Durban) and 7-11 April (Gqeberha).
Whether Cricket South Africa (CSA) allows Rabada – and other Test certainties with IPL contracts like Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Rassie van der Dussen – to miss the second Test perhaps, remains to be seen.
IPL owners run the risk of players missing matches for a variety of reasons, but they are well aware of those risks up-front.
However, in many instances players are only paid when they are in fact available for selection which would see Rabada’s salary drop.
For interest’s sake, in last season’s IPL, Rabada finished as the 13th-best wicket-taker with 15 scalps in 15 matches.
He bowled 56 overs (336 deliveries) and conceded an average of 8.14 runs per over. That made his average bowling analysis per match: 4-0-33-1.
The 11 South Africans who will be in IPL 2022 action are:
Kagiso Rabada: $1.233 million (R18.75 million)
Faf du Plessis: $933 000 (R14.2 million)
Quinton de Kock: $900 000 (R13.7 million)
Anrich Nortje: $866 000 (R13.2 million)*
Marco Jansen: $560 000 (R8.5 million)
David Miller: $400 000 (R6.1 million)
Dewald Brevis: $400 000 (R6.1 million)
Aiden Markram: $346 000 (R5.3 million)
Rassie van der Dussen: $133 000 (R2 million)
Dewaine Pretorius: $66 000 (R1 million)
Lungi Ngidi: $66 000 (R1 million)
Calculated at current exchange rate of $1/R15.21