BBL stars tipped for big-money deals at IPL auction
Recent Big Bash form could lead to lucrative deals at the Indian Premier league auction later this month
AAP & Cricket Network
8 February 2021, 03:28 PM AEST
Productive KFC BBL campaigns for Jhye Richardson and Alex Hales could earn the pair big-money contracts in the Indian Premier League this year.
Some 1097 cricketers have registered for the IPL auction on February 18, with Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell - delisted by their respective franchises - among a group of 42 Australians set to go under the hammer.
Marnus Labuschagne, who has yet to make his T20 debut for Australia but is determined to be a three-format star, has also thrown his hat in the ring.
Richardson and Hales are among 11 BBL players available for at either the highest (A$357,000) or second-highest (A$268,000) base price, along with Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Colin Ingram, Dawid Malan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Swepson and Lewis Gregory.
Smith and Maxwell are the only Australians in the highest price bracket while Mitchell Starc, who has not taken part in the IPL since 2015, will bypass the lucrative T20 tournament yet again.
This month will be a 'mini-auction' after the eight clubs retained 139 players from last season, meaning big-name Australians like David Warner, Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis won’t be available in the auction.
But, as Cummins knows all too well after being sold for $3.2 million in the most recent auction, winning bids can be astonishing when two franchises butt heads.
And with several big names already tied to their clubs, in-form players like Richardson and Hales could attract more interest as teams splash the cash on a smaller pool of players.
Perth Scorchers spearhead Richardson picked up a BBL best of 29 wickets this season and coupled with Starc's absence, could result in a bidding frenzy for the 24-year-old Western Australian.
Englishman Hales has been snubbed by IPL teams in recent years but after clobbering a league-best 543 runs, including a ton for Sydney Thunder this summer, that is predicted to change.
"If Alex Hales is not the most expensive batter then I don't know my cricket," Trent Woodhill, the BBL's head of international recruitment and a former assistant coach at IPL outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore, told AAP.
"He's been phenomenal, absolutely world class for the Thunder this year and last year.
"Jhye Richardson and Alex Hales are two stand outs from the BBL. They deserve to not only get picked up in the IPL, but a starting place."
Thunder mentor Shane Bond, who is part of Mumbai Indians' coaching staff, will be "amazed" if English opener Hales does not get picked up.
"He's playing as well as I have ever seen him," Bond said.
"We have a good team at Mumbai, but he'd give me a few shakes if we came up against him.
"It's a great time to showcase your skills in the BBL (given the IPL auction is soon after).
"I always enjoy the auction, it can be a very exciting and life-changing night for a few people.
"It can be completely random (in terms of winning bids and who is sold and unsold). Nothing ever surprises me."
Bond nominated Richardson, Riley Meredith and Adam Milne as some of the BBL pacemen who might be targeted by cashed-up IPL franchises.
"Overseas fast bowlers are always popular," the former New Zealand quick said.
Base price of INR 2 crore (A$357,000)
Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, Mark Wood, Colin Ingram
Base Price of INR 1.5 crore (A$268,000)
Dawid Malan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Swepson, Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Alex Hales, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, David Willey