‘Wave of nauseousness’: How Richardson joined IPL millionaires club
Racked with nerves, Jhye Richardson felt like throwing up when he heard his name called by the Indian Premier League auctioneer just after midnight on Friday.
The next few seconds felt like an eternity for the Western Australia paceman, who was scribbling on a notepad in a bid to relieve the tension. Is anyone interested? Will there be a bid? How much will I get?
Western Australia paceman Jhye Richardson has become an overnight millionaire in the Indian Premier League.Credit:AP
When the dust settled after a frenetic few minutes of bidding, Meredith was staring at a $1.42m payday. His days of being known more as one of Shane Warne’s favourite bowlers are over.
“I was on FaceTime with my girlfriend at the time and we just absolutely couldn’t believe it was happening,” Meredith said. “It was like it was fake, to be honest. We’re both pretty dumbfounded.”
India’s spin-friendly pitches do not offer much for the quicks but speed through the air is highly valued, hence the bidding wars over Meredith and Richardson, who can both push the 150 km/h mark.
In Richardson’s case, his price was swelled by the interest shown by Australian coaches Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting, whose franchises Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals forced Anil Kumble’s Punjab Kings to keep raising the paddle. Ponting again kept Kumble honest when it came to Meredith.
The jaw-dropping sums on offer in the IPL are driven by the US$2.55 billion ($3.22b) TV deal signed in 2017, allowing franchises purses of US$12m ($15.44m). Big Bash League clubs have a salary cap of $1.9m.
In an indication of the changing cricket landscape and India’s vast power in the Twenty20 era, the pair will earn as much for just over six weeks with their IPL franchise as they have in the previous six years for state and country.
That the cricket economy – or the needs of a few foreign franchises – can so richly reward talented young players before they have made their names on the world stage has long been a concern for administrators.
To now, those who have become T20 guns for hire have tended to be players at the end of their careers, the most glaring exception being Chris Lynn.
Richardson says his long-term goal remains to add to the two Tests he played in 2019 before a serious shoulder injury forced him out of that year’s World Cup and Ashes.
The 24-year-old, with his skid and outswing, is seen by astute judges in Australian cricket as being capable of breaking into a full-strength Test attack.
Former captain Steve Smith and white-ball skipper Aaron Finch did not fare as well. Smith must take a $2m pay cut after being bought by Delhi Capitals for about $400,000 while there was no interest in Finch, who had set a relatively modest reserve of $177,354. Marnus Labuschagne was also unsold.
Glenn Maxwell again commanded big bucks, joining Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at glamour team RCB for $2.5m just weeks after being released from a $2.2m deal by Punjab Kings.
All-rounders capable of clearing the pickets were rewarded, with Nathan Coulter-Nile ($885,000), Dan Christian ($850,000) and Moises Henriques ($743,000) attracting sizeable bids.
Ben Cutting rounded out the eight Australians purchased, secured for about $130,000 by the Kolkata Knight Riders, coached by his former Brisbane Heat teammate Brendon McCullum.
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