Each Andrew Flintoff wicket in IPL has cost Rs 83 lakh!

They are the million-dollar men of this year’s IPL, the stars who fetched the highest rates at the auction. But Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff haven’t really lived up to the expectations of fans and franchisees.

Indeed, a quick calculation of value for money shows them trailing way behind players who were acquired for far less.

Flintoff had got injured during England’s tour of the West Indies and there was much debate over whether he should play in the IPL at all.

He might now be wishing he hadn’t. England’s talismanic allrounder was smashed around while bowling and picked up just two wickets from three matches before he retired hurt — well, returned home with yet another injury.

He would have got his full fee of $1.55 million only if he had been available for all 14 league matches. At a per match rate of $110,714, he will finish with $332,143 for playing three matches.

His two wickets thus came at a total cost of over $166,000, or Rs 83 lakh, each. Did someone say there’s a recession out there?

Of course, in fairness to Flintoff, he also scored some runs. The average runs scored per wicket in IPL 2, up till the end of the Royal Challengers vs Knight Riders match, works out to 17.02.

In other words, each wicket is worth 17.02 runs. Flintoff has thus contributed a total of 96.04 points. When you divide his total match fee of $332,143, he ends up with a value of 3,458 on the value for money index.

To put that in perspective, a similar calculation for Lasith Malinga, the highest wicket-taker in the competition so far, would throw up a value of 473, implying that the Lankan slinger has proved a far better investment for his team (the lower the result of the total match fees divided by runs plus wickets, the higher the value for money).

The flamboyant Kevin Pietersen has, if anything, proved an even worse bargain than Flintoff. He’s played six matches and taken four wickets, but has scored a total of just 93 runs.

Effectively, each run scored by him has cost his team $7,143, or over Rs 3.5 lakh. When you aggregate his runs plus wickets and divide his total match fees ($664,286) you get a value of 4,123, even worse than Flintoff’s. And a long way off from the fantastic return of 498 posted by Matthew Hayden, the tournament’s highest rungetter at the time of writing with an aggregate of 215 runs from four matches.

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