Towering sixes, tumbling stumps, whistling trumpets, rapturous crowds, and an exhibition of superstars are what you find at the galactic centre of the Indian Premier League. Being successfully organised for over a decade now, the cash-rich league has truly taken the cricketing world by storm ever since its inception in 2008.
Besides catching the crowd's captive each year, IPL has also proven to be a dream platform for many players. Earning big bucks in return for their cricketing talents, cricketers across the globe have rated India's pet T20 league among the best tournaments conducted in the sport.
And as is the case with any sporting league, players usually end up switching sides frequently in the auctions. While changing jerseys and finding newer homes has been a common tradition for most of the IPL cricketers, there exist a handful of players who never changed sides and have played for only one franchise all the while.
Here, we take a look at 10 such cricketers*, who have played for just one IPL team throughout their careers thus far.
*Players who have played a minimum of 50 IPL games have been taken into account.
Arguably one of the greatest cricketers ever produced, Shane Warne was signed to lead the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season of the IPL. Little was expected of the Australian player as he captained a bunch of "underdogs" who, on paper, were in no contention to compete with the stalwarts of the other fancier teams. However, throwing in a major surprise, Warne, downplaying the "underdog" tag, inspired the Royals to pip their opponents as they went on to clinch the title for the first edition of the cash-rich league.
The legendary leg-spinner not only rocked the oppositions with his spin-masterclass but also unearthed sensational talents during his tenure as the franchise's captain/coach. Warne's tryst with the Royals, as a player, continued for three more seasons before he hung his boots up in 2011.
Matches: 55 Wickets: 57 Economy: 7.27 Best Figures: 4/21
The funky hairdo, the nonchalant celebrations and the ever-mesmerising spin wizardry of Sunil Narine have now turned into household assets across Kolkata.
Signing his maiden IPL contract in 2012, Narine has been a consistent performer for the Kolkata Knight Riders over the years. Notably, the mystery spinner currently stands as the seventh highest wicket-taker in the tournament's history. Spinning a web around the batsmen on a regular basis, the Windies cricketer had formed a crucial component of the squads that won the titles in 2012 and 2014 under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir.
Adding to his already coveted skillset with the ball is Narine's recently found flamboyance with the bat. Making the bowlers dance to his calypso beats at the top of the order, Narine dons the avatar of a fiery opener, getting the team off to flying starts quite regularly.
Matches: 98 Wickets: 112 Economy: 6.54 Best Figures: 5/19
Powering the Mumbai Indians to many glories with his towering presence on the field, Kieron Pollard has been one of the main pillars for the men in blue since 2010.
As one of the most experienced campaigners of T20 cricket, the big West Indian been a valuable asset for the team from the west. Tonking massive sixes and giving the crowds a bang for their buck with his other on-field antics, Polly, as he's fondly called, has done it all in the IPL. However, the 2018 edition left Pollard with a daunting scar.
The all-rounder wasn't in the best of forms and couldn't help the team's fortunes in a rather dismal season. But the franchise has continued to invest its faith in Pollard by retaining him yet another season, and 31-year-old would certainly be itching to wield his magic in the Mumbai colours once again.
Matches: 132 Runs: 2476 Avg: 28.14 SR: 145.73 50s: 13 Wickets: 56
From debuting as a rookie fast bowler to growing into one of the most sensational T20 talents, the rise of Jasprit Bumrah has played a key role in the success of the Mumbai Indians over the past six seasons.
A go-to man at any stage of the game, the lanky paceman has carved out of niche for himself. Be it for stifling the run flow or for scalping wickets at crucial stages, the 25-year-old has emerged as the go-to man for his team's skipper and has been shouldering the responsibility of leading Mumbai's pace pack.
Thanks to his consistent heroics, the Mumbai Indians have shelled big bucks to retain him over the years and will be looking to forge a long-term bond to reap dividends in the upcoming edition too.
Mat: 61 Wickets: 63 Eco: 7.81 Best Figures: 3/7
Rightly tagged as "Killer-Miller", South Africa's big-hitting left-hander has been a regular feature of Kings XI Punjab since 2012. Forming the backbone of the team from the North, Miller, with a blazing strike rate of 140, has quite often proved to be the X-factor for the franchise.
While Miller has played several special knocks for the men in red and grey, his blistering century against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013, continues to top the charts as one of the most memorable knocks in the IPL. The South African looked in no mood to forgive the opponents as he smashed a 101 off 38 balls to leave RCB with deep scars.
Continuing to repose their faith in his skill, the franchise owners have retained him for the upcoming season. Come the 2019 edition and Miller will once again look to wield his long willow to help KXIP lay its hands on the silverware.
Mat: 69 Runs: 1637 Avg: 35.59 SR: 140.03 100s: 1 50s: 8
Hardik Pandya has been one of the biggest finds of the IPL thus far. Hailing from a small town in Gujarat, Pandya first broke on to the scene in IPL 2015.
Pandya's impressive run for the Mumbai Indians soon won him a ticket into the Indian team, where he has made a mark of his own and has been emerging as one of India's most bankable stars in the limited overs formats. Hitting the long ball, picking handy wickets and prowling the ball in the outfield, he has truly been a major asset in all departments of the game.
The 25-year-old has been signed by the Mumbai Indians for the fifth straight season and the franchise will be hoping to get the best out of the lanky all-rounder.
Matches: 50 Runs: 666 Avg: 23.79 SR: 138.75 50s: 02 Wickets: 28
Sachin Tendulkar, as would be expected of a cricketing icon of momentous stature, played for just one team throughout his IPL career. Representing his home franchise of the Mumbai Indians for about six years, the Master Blaster left a mark of his own in India's pet T20 league. From being the highest scorer on numerous occasions to leading the franchise to its maiden final in 2010, Tendulkar stood out for the Mumbai Indians. Notably, the master had also blasted a century in the 2011 edition of the tournament, scripting a fond memory for his fans.
Sachin Tendulkar played his last IPL game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 before calling it quits. However, he continues to be involved with the franchise in several capacities.
Mat: 78 Runs: 2334 Average: 33.83 SR: 119.82 50s: 13 100s: 1
Calm, composed and focussed, Shaun Marsh's sturdy figure at the crease was an affirmation to order for the Kings XI Punjab for many years. Being picked for a modest price in the inaugural auction, the Australian left-hander turned heads with his remarkable batsmanship that led the franchise into the semi-finals of the tournament. Not only did Marsh's heroics with the bat help him win the Orange Cap in the 2008 edition but also made him a ready choice for KXIP for the ensuing years.
While the southpaw wasn't as effective in the following seasons, a decent run of form kept his KXIP contract in good terms. However, with the franchise not able to reverse its sorry fate even in the tenth edition, the 2018 auction saw the owners take some tough calls, including the one which saw leaving out Shaun Marsh. Sadly, the stylish left-handed batsman had no takers in the latest auction too.
Mat: 71 Runs: 2477 Avg: 39.95 SR: 132.74 100s: 1 50s: 20
A name that shouldn't surprise even a cricket follower on Mars, Virat Kohli has grown synonymous with the popular club of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. From claiming a spot as a rising talent in 2008 to shouldering the franchise as one of the modern age batting greats, Kohli has turned into RCB's biggest asset over the years.
The roaring crowds, the passionate fan clubs and the fervent Chinnaswamy stadium have been complemented perfectly by the batting master since the first edition of the IPL. Stamping his authority with the bat, Kohli, on numerous has scripted masterclass for the men in red. In addition to being the second highest run-getter in the tournament's history thus far, the 30-year-old also holds other remarkable records, including the one for being the highest run-scorer in a single edition of the IPL (in 2016).
However, despite all the remarkable feats with the bat, the superstar hasn't been able to guide his team to the elusive silverware yet. This year, the fans would be hoping for their favourite "King" to turn the tables and end the franchise's 11-year long drought for the championship.
Mat: 163 Runs: 4948 Average: 38.36 SR: 130.76 50s: 34 100s: 4