World Cup-bound Ellis lands IPL deal
Nathan Ellis has capped a wild 24 hours with an IPL pay-day to go with his selection as a travelling reserve for Australia's T20 World Cup squad
20 August 2021, 11:28 AM AEST
This story was first published on Friday morning AEST and updated on Saturday morning AEST after Punjab Kings confirmed the signing
The extraordinary recent rise of Nathan Ellis has continued, with the 26-year-old earning a contract to play in the Indian Premier League.
Cricket.com.au understands Ellis was being chased by three IPL franchises for the upcoming tournament before agreeing to terms on Thursday night.
The Punjab Kings officially confirmed the signing on Friday night.
Nathan ᴇʟʟ-ɪs a 👑He’s the newest addition to #SaddaSquad for the second phase of #IPL2021! 😍#SaddaPunjab #PunjabKings pic.twitter.com/0hMuOJ19NU— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) August 20, 2021
It capped off a dizzying 24 hours for Ellis, who earlier in the day was named as one of three Australian reserve players for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will immediately follow the IPL.
And it comes less than a fortnight after he picked up a stunning hat-trick on international debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
The right-armer's IPL deal is subject to final approval from Cricket Australia.
Should Ellis continue his strong form at the IPL he could force his way into Australia's main squad at the World Cup, should the opportunity arise during the tournament, and also put his name forward for a big-money IPL deal at next year's mega auction.
IPL franchises are set to finalise their squads in the coming days for the second half of the tournament after it was postponed earlier this year due to the pandemic.
It's expected Ellis, who went unsold at the initial player auction in January, will be one of several international replacements after a handful of contracted players declined to play in the final stages of the competition.
The likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith – all World Cup teammates of Ellis – are all expected to return to the IPL, while cricket.com.au reported on Thursday that Josh Hazlewood is also close to committing to play for Chennai.
Fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith are among the contracted Australian players who are not expected to return.
Ellis has been a revelation since breaking into the Tasmanian set-up in 2019 having been overlooked for an opportunity in his home state of NSW.
Having been told repeatedly in his younger days that he was too short to be a fast bowler at the top level, he's established himself as arguably the best death bowler in the KFC BBL and has impressed in first-class and one-day cricket as well.
His stunning ascension came after he had taken a punt on a move to Tasmania despite having no job nor any guarantee that he would be given an opportunity.
"There were no promises or anything, but it was, 'If you train well and play well, you'll get the chance'," Ellis told cricket.com.au in 2019. "That was enough for me."
Australia's chief selector George Bailey, a former teammate of Ellis at Tasmania and the Hobart Hurricanes, this week praised the fast bowler's resilience.
"It's a great story of perseverance and commitment to the cause," he said.
"In terms of what you're after from those reserves and knowing we can't carry that many of them, you want someone who can cover as many bases as you can, particularly in T20 and the distinct roles of bowling with the newer ball and finishing off at the death.
"We feel like Nathan covers those bases really well.
"He gives it his absolute all, he's a terrific team man to have with the group and someone we see as having a really strong future in the Australian coloured clothing."
2021 Men's T20 World Cup key info
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
How teams are grouped
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1, B2
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, B1, A2