Glenn Maxwell wasn’t even paying attention when he picked up his first-ever $1 million cheque after being taken in the 2013 Indian Premier League auction.
But the Australian white-ball star and his national T20 teammates will be all over the 2021 version with rumours rife that Maxwell could join Indian star Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, potentially for yet another seven-figure sum.
The cutthroat nature of the competition was clear when Maxwell was released by Kings XI Punjab after last year’s delayed edition of the COVID-19 impacted competition, by a team which paid in excess of $2 million for his services at the 2020 auction.
Steve Smith, who made a timely one-day century for NSW on Monday, was also dumped as captain of the Rajasthan Royals and released, while Aussie white-ball captain Aaron Finch, named in the ICC’s T20 team of the decade, was also giving his marching orders.
That trio are among 35 Aussies in this year’s auction, which will happen on Thursday night in India.
Finch and Maxwell will be together in Christchurch to watch, with six other members of the Aussie T20 squad also hoping to hear their names called out, with big numbers to boot.
“We get to watch it together and congratulate and commiserate each other depending on what they went for or if they didn‘t go. So it’s stressful day for a lot of people, and I’ve been lucky to be on the good side of it a fair few times,” Maxwell said this week.
That first auction was “life-changing” for Maxwell, as have been plenty of auctions since for the now 32-year-old.
But the surprise of his first big collect has never left a player now regarded as one of the best limited overs players in the world.
“The auction was on game day of game two of that (ODI) series against the West Indies (in 2013) and I completely forgot about it. That’s 100 per cent honest,” Maxwell recalled this week.
“I got a first ball duck and walked off, filthy and a few guys in the changerooms were laughing and I thought “what’s going on here?”.
“I sat down and (coach) Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke grabbed me and took me in to the back room and I thought they were going to yell at me about the blow-up. There were like “the IPL auction is on”. They said “you went for $1 million”.
“I said an expletive and walked off and just sat there and had no idea how to react.”
Glenn Maxwell has revelled in the IPL playing with superstars like England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGHSource:AFP
Maxwell’s family were in Perth to help him soak up what he called a “life-changing” moment, and he has cherished every minute in the IPL, despite being on the end of some hard decisions, ever since.
“That was life-changing, a life-changing an amount of money for me,” he said.
“To have the luck, and I am going to call it luck, to go back there most years and play my trade , has been awesome for my cricket. To play around the best players in the world, and learning off the bets … it’s been awesome.”
Maxwell has been strongly linked to Kohli’s RCB, where the Australian’s “idol”, South African great AB de Villiers also plays.
“That‘ll be awesome. AB is one of my idols and one of the guys I’ve always tried to watch the way he goes about [things],” Maxwell said.
“It’ll be awesome to work with him, and he’s always been really helpful to me along the journey. Whenever I’ve caught up with him, he’s been brilliant. So to be able to work with him first hand will be pretty cool.”
IPL AND THE AUSSIES
Australians retained by IPL franchises
Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams (both Delhi Capitals), Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians), Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Josh Philippe, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson (all Royal Challengers Bangalore), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (both Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Australians available at 2021 IPL Auction (base price listed)
$354,083 – Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell
$265,995 – Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Shaun Marsh
$177,354 – Aaron Finch, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Jason Behrendorff, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade
$133,015 – Ben Cutting, Dan Christian, Hilton Cartwright, James Faulkner
$88,677 and under – Ben McDermott, Sean Abbott, Joel Paris, Jack Wildermuth Riley Meredith, Brendan Doggett, Mark Steketee Ben Dwarshuis, Chris GreenWes Agar, Josh Inglis, Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha, Max Bryant, Jake Weatherald, Matt Kelly, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Nathan McAndrew
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