Which League is Better: IPL Or PSL 2024? Expert Analysis

PSL came into existence 8 years after IPL. There are six teams in the PSL, while the IPL has 10. Know the difference between the two leagues.

Umaima Saeed
Umaima Saeed

Last Updated: 2024-01-12

Dillip Mohanty

5 minutes read

Over the last decade, T20 cricket leagues have become popular globally. Leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and Pakistan Super League (PSL) have gained immense popularity. These T20 tournaments attract top players and a massive fan following.

Fans often debate which league is better – IPL or PSL. This debate stems from the cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan. Known as arch-rivals, the two teams attract massive viewership every time they meet in multi-national events.

The IPL was born in 2008, while the PSL came into existence much later in 2016. There are six teams in the PSL, while the IPL has 10 teams. So which league is better? IPL or PSL? Let’s find out. 

PSL Trophy with Rizwan and Afridi.jpeg

Salary Structures - A Focus on PSL and IPL

A good salary in T20 tournaments is crucial because it provides financial security to players. It attracts them by offering a stable income. Participating in leagues like the PSL or IPL requires foreign players to be away from home for a couple of months, and their willingness largely depends on the offered salary meeting their expectations. While both the IPL and PSL provide substantial incomes, there exists a notable disparity in the salaries offered by these two cricket leagues.

The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) extends five categories of contracts to PSL players, ranging from platinum-class players at the pinnacle to Emerging class players at the base. Each player's salary is determined by their designated category.

At the PSL draft each year, teams can select up to three players each from Platinum, Diamond, and Gold categories, five players from Silver, two from Emerging, and two from Supplementary categories. There is a cap on how much the player can earn in each category. In the Platinum category, players can earn up to $170,000 with a base price of $130,000.

Salary offered in each category - Platinum ($130,000-$170,000), Diamond ($60,000-$80,000), Gold ($40,000-$50,000), Silver ($15,000-$25,000), Emerging ($7,500) and Supplementary ($50,000).

In the IPL, on the other hand, there are no such categories. Additionally, there is no limit on the money that can be offered to a player. In the IPL auction, each team operates within an allocated budget. Players who register for the auction have a base price. During the auctions, franchise owners, coaches, and analysts engage in discussions and bidding for the players they are interested in. To avail of a player’s services, the franchise needs him to pay a minimum of his base price. The minimum base price is Rs 20 lakh for all registered players.

There are a total of 17 players in PSL 2024’s Platinum category, which is the highest-paid category. They are Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Rassier Van der Dussen, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Sams, Mohammad Nawaz, Jordan Cox, Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, David Willey, Mohammed Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Noor Ahmed, Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford and Rilee Rossouw. All these players have earned a salary between $130,000-$170,000 (Rs 1.7 crore to Rs 1.40 crore approx.) for IPL 2024.

IPL Auction 2024 Top Buys Mitchell Starc.jpeg

In comparison, the highest-paid player in IPL 2024 is Mitchell Starc, who was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping Rs 24.75 crore. Following closely behind Starc are Pat Cummins (Rs 20.50 crore), Sam Curran (Rs 18.50 crore), Cameron Green (Rs 17.50 crore) and KL Rahul (Rs 17 crore).

Prize Money

The IPL generally offers significantly higher prize money compared to the PSL, reflecting the vast difference in financial scale and global viewership between the two leagues.
Lahore Qalandars were awarded a cash prize of PKR 120 million (INR 3.40 crore approx.) for winning PSL 2023. Runners-up Multan Sultans took home PKR 48 million (INR 1.36 crore approx.). Highest run-scorer Fakhar Zaman and highest wicket-taker Shadab Khan pocketed PKR 3.5 million (INR 14.86 lakh approx.) and PKR 3.5 million (INR 14.86 lakh approx.), respectively.

In contrast, IPL 2023 winners Chennai Super Kings received Rs 20 crore, while runners-up Gujarat Titans got Rs 12.50 crore. The highest run-scorer and highest wicket-taker, Shubman Gill and Mohammad Shami, received Rs 10 lakh each. 

MS Dhoni with IPL Trophy for CSK.jpeg


Prize money in the last four seasons

2020 Mumbai Indians – Rs 20 croreKarachi Kings – Rs 3.5 crore 
2021Chennai Super Kings – Rs 20 crore Multan Sultans – Rs 3.5 crore
2022Gujarat Titans – Rs 20 croreLahore Qalandars – Rs 3.5 crore
2023Chennai Super Kings – Rs 20 crore Lahore Qalandars – Rs 3.5 crore
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Media rights and brand value

The contrasting financial scale between IPL and PSL was evident in their media rights deals as well, but only until last year. In 2017, IPL's global media rights fetched a staggering $2.55 billion (Rs 17000 crore approx.) for five years, eclipsing PSL's media rights, which were sold for $36 million (Rs 300 crore approx.) for three years in 2019.

Interestingly, in a noteworthy development, the media rights for PSL for 2024 and 2025 were recently sold for a staggering $6.3 billion (Rs 52000 crore approx.). Remarkably, this narrowly surpasses the media rights value for IPL's five seasons from 2022 to 2027, which were secured for $6.2 billion (Rs 51000 crore approx).

The disparity in brand value between the two tournaments is substantial. The IPL boasts a staggering current brand value of $10.7 billion (Rs 88,000 crore), underscoring its global recognition and commercial success. In contrast, the brand value of PSL is estimated to be $330 million (Rs 2700 crore approx.). While the PSL has made significant strides, particularly in recent media rights deals, it still reflects a considerable gap in terms of brand value compared to the IPL, which stands as one of the most valuable and widely followed cricket leagues worldwide.

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“I don’t think any league can compete with the IPL, but if there is any league that stands behind it, it has to be the PSL"

Wahab Riaz comparing IPL and PSL

What cricketers have to say

Various cricketers have expressed their views on whether the IPL or PSL is superior.

Wahab Riaz told Pakistan Cricket’s YouTube channel - “IPL is a league where all the top international players come and play. You can’t compare IPL with PSL, I believe IPL is at a different level. Their commitments, the way they run things, communicate things, the way they draft the players, that is totally different.” However, he also added that the quality of bowlers in the PSL is much better. “I don’t think any league can compete with the IPL, but if there is any league that stands behind it, it has to be the PSL. The League in Pakistan has proved it. The standards of bowling are quite high. The kind of bowlers you get in the PSL is not found in other leagues, not even in the IPL. This is why PSL doesn’t have many high-scoring games.”

Usman Khawaja told journalists during Australia’s tour of Pakistan in 2022 - PSL is a world-class league but there is no doubt that IPL is the best league in the world. There is really no match here (IPL and PSL) because in the end players from all over the world go there (IPL) and that is the only league in which Indian players play. That's why the discussion of the best league ends here. However, there are many T20 cricket leagues like PSL, BBL, and CPL, they are quality leagues and everyone wants to play in them."

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Umaima Saeed
Umaima SaeedSports Writer

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.