The Indian T20 League, since its inception in 2008, has been a bystander to some of the most breathtaking bowling performances over the years. Right from Lasith Malinga’s inch-perfect yorkers to the devastating pace lengths of Harshal Patel, the spectators have been duly entertained by something extremely miraculous.
The nature of the league or the format per se is such that you are bound to stay connected right till the end. But what makes the league even more interesting is the fight to win the individual awards. In context, the Indian T20 League honours the bowler with the most number of wickets with a Purple Cap at the end of every season.
2008: Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan)
Pakistani players played only the inaugural season of the league, and that was enough for Sohail Tanvir to assert his claim. Representing Rajasthan in 2008, the left-arm pacer played a key role in his side’s route to the final. During the course, he picked 22 wickets in 11 games at an impressive average of 12.09.
2009: RP Singh (Deccan)
RP Singh was an absolute revelation in the second edition of the tournament. Applauded for his mesmerizing in-swingers and an ability to find a gap between the pad and the bat, he notched up 23 wickets in 16 games to earn the Purple Cap that year.
2010: Pragyan Ojha (Deccan)
After two mediocre seasons, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha finally burst onto the scene in 2010 with a blistering performance for Deccan. Picking up 21 wickets in 16 games that year, he not only won the Purple Cap but also won the hearts of many.
2011: Lasith Malinga (Mumbai)
Four-time Indian T20 League winner with Mumbai, Lasith Malinga won the Purple Cap in only his third season of the tournament. In 2011, the Sri Lankan pacer returned with a total of 28 wickets in 16 games at a mere economy of 5.95.
2012: Morne Morkel (Delhi)
Delhi have always been known for their strong overseas bowling core. In 2012, Morne Morkel delivered what was promised as he went on to pick 25 wickets in 16 games, but that, unfortunately, wasn’t enough as his side crashed out of the play-offs stage.
2013: Dwayne Bravo (Chennai)
In 2013, Chennai made it to their second consecutive Indian T20 League finals. While their batting was top-notch that year, their bowling contingent oozed similar confidence and a certain Dwayne Bravo was at the pinnacle of it. The West Indies all-rounder picked a whopping 32 wickets to win his first Purple Cap of the Indian T20 League. His figures in 2013 remain the best for any bowler in a single season.
2014: Mohit Sharma (Chennai)
Mohit Sharma arguably remains one of the finest finds of the Indian T20 League. In 2014, the medium-pacer topped the bowling charts after picking 23 wickets in 16 games for Chennai
2015: Dwayne Bravo (Chennai)
For the third time running, a Chennai bowler emerged as the highest wicket-taker of the Indian T20 League. In 2015, Dwayne Bravo became the first player to win the Purple Cap twice after he scalped 26 wickets in 17 games to take his team all the way to the final. He even took the joint-most catches - 13 - in that edition.
2016: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Hyderabad)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a headache for the opposition batsmen in 2016. Playing for Hyderabad, his perfect line and length culminated in him picking 23 wickets in 17 games at an economy of 7.42 to win the Purple Cap that year.
2017: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Hyderabad)
Hyderabad failed to defend their title in 2017, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again topped the wicket-taking chart, becoming only the second player to win two Purple Caps. That year, he picked 26 wickets in just 14 games.
2018: Andrew Tye (Punjab)
Australian pacer Andrew Tye impressed one and all with his breathtaking performance in the 2018 edition of the tournament. That year, his three four-wicket hauls took his total tally to 24 wickets in just 14 games, which was enough to have a Purple Cap on his head.
2019: Imran Tahir (Chennai)
Known for his extravagant celebrations, South African spinner Imran Tahir defeated his fellow countryman Kagiso Rabada to win the Purple Cap in 2019 after picking 26 wickets in 17 games at an economy rate of 6.69.
2020: Kagiso Rabada (Delhi)
After missing out on the Purple Cap in 2020, Kagiso Rabada won the Purple Cap as he scalped 30 wickets in 17 matches at an economy rate of 8.34. The South African fought off competition from Mumbai's Jasprit Bumrah to finish as the leading wicket-taker in the 13th edition of the T20 extravaganza.
2021: Harshal Patel (Bangalore)
Harshal Patel had a season to remember in Indian T20 League 2021, as he matched Dwayne Bravo's record for most wickets in a single campaign (32). Patel also scripted history as the bowler with most wickets during the league phase of an Indian T20 League season, surpassing Lasith Malinga's 27 scalps in 2011.
Purple Cap winners in Indian T20 League
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain