New Delhi, May 6 -- Ajantha Mendis, Kane Richardson and Glenn Maxwell were the only players to fetch over $700,000 (Rs 3.7 crore) in this year's auction. With the season beyond the halfway mark, the trio - who cost a combined $2.425 million (Rs 13 crore) - have played four matches among them. One hasn't played at all. Maybe the domestic T20 league's owners didn't watch Moneyball.
The concept of Sabermetrics, a theoretical analysis of in-game productivity on the basis of a plethora of statistical tools, evolved from another sport where the central battle is between bat and ball - baseball. If the owners of T20 franchises were to employ a similar statistical analysis on their monetary investments, they wouldn't be as pleased with some of the returns.
Fitting the bill
All the top three buys this season had two things working in their favor - scouting reports and statistical evidence. Maxwell had a healthy T20 strike-rate of 144.19, he had hit the fastest domestic fifty in Australian cricket, off just 19 balls, and smashed a brisk ODI fifty a few days before the February auction. Fellow Aussie Richardson possessed the all-round skills so cherished in the format, but had only played 20 T20s. Mendis held the two best bowling spells in international T20 cricket - 6/8 against Zimbabwe and 6/16 against Australia.
When Maxwell's name came up, Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani raised the glittering-motif bat and placed the first bid at $200,000. Over the next four minutes, the Sunrisers Hyderbad think-tank, seated a table behind them, upped the bid, $25,000 at a time, to $875,000 before the Indians raised it further to $900,000. After a long discussion, they decided to raise the bid. No sooner had the London-based private auctioneer Richard Madley said $925,000 in his crisp baritone Ambani raised the bar further. The speed with which the bid was upped proved the intent.
Best job in the world
In a bid to boost its profile, Tourism Australia has over the past few years launched an initiative which lures people the world over to apply for seemingly dream jobs across various and varied locations in the country.
Who wouldn't want to be a "chief funster" or "outback adventurer" and get paid $100,000 while at it?
Well, Glenn Maxwell could teach them a thing or two about great jobs - he gets paid a million for two months work, which looks, with each passing Mumbai Indians match, like it very well might not include even a single day at the office.
By his own admission he gets to play golf and work on his putting. He also gets to soak in the Incredible India experience with the luxury of the jet-set.
Best job in the world? Now, that seems like a misnomer, doesn't it?
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.