WHILE everyone was jumping around in excitement at Ben Stokes’ huge $2.8 million IPL deal, a number of hugely unlucky stars missed out.
Despite big deals going to Mitchell Johnson ($390,000 to Mumbai Indians), Pat Cummins ($875,000 to Dehli Daredevils) and Nathan Coulter-Nile ($680,000 to Mumbai Indians), Australia had 24 unlucky prospects fall short of a contract.
Looking back at these T20 gun’s huge performances over the past year, it’s hard to not scratch your head at their omission from the IPL.
A Big Bash hero, Sean Abbott lit up this year’s competition with 20 wickets and a number of clutch performances with the bat. The Sydney Sixers benefited from his excellent death bowling and ability to snag a wicket at key moments in the match more than a number of times throughout the competition, smashing their way into the final.
A disappointing performance from the 24-year-old in the final, going wicketless in the Sixers’ defeat against Perth, was one of the few low points for his summer. A selection in an IPL squad seemed almost certain after his stellar season, but alas, the NSW paceman was snubbed from the tournament with a base price of $58,000.
Touted as one of the best six-hitters in the Big Bash by the legendary Chris Lynn himself, Ben Dunk is another painfully unlucky Aussie to miss out on the IPL, denied a place in a squad with a lowly base price of $58,000.
Dunk scored a number of handy 30s for the Adelaide Strikers throughout the season, becoming BBL06’s highest run scorer while also raking in a number of handy dismissals behind the stumps as Adelaide’s wicketkeeper.
Being the No. 1 ranked bowler in ODI cricket would normally mean you’d be a shoo-in for cricket’s biggest T20 franchise tournament, right? Wrong.
Imran Tahir, South Africa’s premier limited overs spinner had a huge 2016 with the ball, racking up a number of five-wicket hauls for the Proteas on their way back to the top spot in the ODI world. Despite his obvious achievements and three previous seasons for the Delhi Daredevils, Tahir was overlooked for an IPL squad with a base price of $97,000.
You’d think India’s most experienced bowler would garner a selection in his own country’s T20 league, right? Sadly, that wasn’t the case for Ishant Sharma.
The lanky paceman has played in all but one of the IPL’s eight tournaments up until 2017, so there’s no doubt his experience would be a huge ally to any side in the competition, but setting his base price at the highest possible amount ($390,000) appeared to hurt his chances of landing a contract.
COLIN DE GRANDHOMME
This one is a real doozy. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has the highest strike rate of any T20 batsman in history (min. 250 balls faced), clocking in a huge 171.04 runs per 100 balls faced.
Taking 40 wickets, hitting 1772 runs and taking 46 catches across his 100 T20 games, de Grandhomme is an obvious asset to any side on either side of the innings. Setting his base price at a lowly $58,000, it’s hard to see how this 30-year-old missed out on a chance of strutting his stuff on T20’s biggest stage.