Sport IPL Auction 2021: Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith react to 'outrageous' payday

07:15  19 february  2021
07:15  19 february  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Aussie pace bowlers Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have both been left shellshocked after their "outrageous" payday at this year's IPL Auction.

For years we've seen the biggest names in international cricket head to the riches of the IPL for a well-overdue windfall.

Players who have represented their countries for years could finally make the big bucks that had been seen in other sports around the world.

But in this year's 2021 IPL auction, we saw something different. It wasn't just experience that was rewarded, it was potential.

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Glenn Maxwell was the first big star of the evening. The enigmatic all-rounder earning a AUD$2.53 million deal with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

While there's no doubting Maxwell's talent, in a sense there is a bit of hope on the part of Bangalore that they will get a rejuvenated Maxi.

The 32-year-old didn't hit a single six for Punjab in last season's IPL, a damning statistic for someone whose game relies on being able to clear the rope.

As a result, Punjab Kings released Maxwell but they spent big to bring in another Aussie.

Jhye Richardson, who was coming off a fantastic BBL10 campaign where he finished as the leading wicket-taker, set his base price at a respectable 1.5 crore ($265,000).

After a bidding war between Bangalore and Punjab, Richardson eventually landed with the Kings for 14 crore ($2.48 million), almost ten times his starting value.

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Currently in New Zealand for Australia's upcoming T20 tour, Richardson was on a Discord with some mates back in Western Australia when his name was pulled out of the hat.

"It’s an amazing result, it’s life-changing to be honest.," Richardson told reporters on Friday.

"It’s so fresh that I haven’t had time to process it. At the moment, it’s getting through the day and watching my phone blow up with a lot of messages. I had a lot of support from everyone so that’s what I’m doing at the moment.

"We were trying to work out what people were going for. It can be a bit confusing but we got there in the end.

"When my name came up, I got this wave of nauseousness come up, not knowing what to expect.

"For the first, what felt to me, 20 minutes, no one put their paddle up and it was one of those things you have no idea what’s going to happen.

"The first paddle went up and realistically it was only five seconds but it felt like a lifetime."

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Despite his fantastic Big Bash, Richardson attempted to downplay his chances of being picked up in the auction.

As a raft of talented internationals continued to go unsold, the 24-year-old was just trying to stay "chilled" as a whirlwind of emotions overcame him.

Considering the brutal two years that Richardson has been through recovering from a serious shoulder injury, it makes this moment all the more sweeter.

While the money is a huge bonus, that's not the real takeaway from this auction for Richardson.

"I think it’s obviously a nice bonus from where I was 12 months ago," Richardson said.

"All the questions go through your mind when you have such a long recovery or a big injury, whether or not you’ll get back to your best.

"Especially with the Big Bash and putting all of my confidence in the medical staff around me.

"[I'm] really looking forward to it and for me on a personal level, it’s reassuring to know I’m back to where I was shoulder-wise which is really exciting."

An added incentive for Richardson is the fact that the IPL presents a perfect warm-up for the T20 World Cup later this year.

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With both taking place in India, Richardson believes the variation in his bowling, which was so successful in the BBL, has the potential to set him apart in subcontinent conditions.

Linking up with Richardson in Punjab for the IPL will be fellow Australian quick Riley Meredith.

The 24-year-old from Tasmania became the most expensive player who is uncapped at the international level to be sold at the IPL auction.

Punjab won his services at 8 crore ($1,417,691) despite an intense challenge from Ricky Ponting's Delhi Capitals.

"Pretty outrageous really," Meredith told reporters on Friday about his auction result.

"I wasn’t expecting too much to be honest going in, I was hoping for a bid or two if possible but it got out of control really."

Like Richardson, Meredith is certainly an investment on potential by Punjab.

There was a clear appetite for big, fast bowlers at this year's auction with the likes of Chris Morris and Kyle Jamieson being sold for eye-watering amounts.

It marks a bit of a shift from recent seasons where crafty spin has been the go-to.

Now it's all about the speed, baby. And Punjab certainly have the need for speed.

"I think there was a bit of talk before the auction about fast bowlers being in demand this year," Meredith said.

"It was obviously a good time to not be allocated to a franchise.

"Probably pretty lucky, a bit of right place, right time about it."

NSW all-rounder Moises Henriques will also be joining Meredith and Richardson in Punjab after the Kings picked him up for 4.2 crore ($745,000).

Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch was one of a number of Aussie players left without an IPL contract heading into the World Cup year.

Matthew Wade, Alex Carey, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben McDermott and Jason Behrendorff are just some of the other players around the Australian T20 squad who went unsold.

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