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Rejected by National Selectors, Australia's Invisible Millionaire Cricketers

The money. So much money.

15/02/2017 10:17 AM AEDT | Updated 15/02/2017 1:20 PM AEDT
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Watto is so hotto right now... in India.

Shane Watson last played for Australia 11 months ago in Mohali, India, in a Twenty20 international. The 35-year-old all-rounder played his last Test and One-Dayer a year before that, as his international reputation faded quicker than his ability to move his front pad out of the way of inswingers.

But Shane Watson is still so highly valued by some in the cricketing world that he will soon earn $1.85 million over a six week period playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition, which runs in April and May.

The IPL is basically India's version of the Big Bash. It came first too. The Australian T20 comp was very much moulded on the Indian version -- including the following familiar trumpet riff you might have heard.

The money on offer in the IPL is insane. Just nuts. Each of the eight teams has around $12 million to spend annually. In the phase just gone, where teams elect to retain (or recycle) players, Watson was retained.

So were current Aussie Test squad members Glenn Maxwell, Dave Warner, and captain Steve Smith, all of whom will earn more than a million for their six week stint -- which is handily placed in the calendar just after Australia's upcoming Test tour of India.

Another 12 Aussies have also been retained also on the books. Some like pace ace Mitchell Starc, will command salaries just under the million dollar mark. Others, like short-form specialist spinner Adam Zampa, will earn just $58,000.

All this, in a world where every single creature comfort is taken care of, every whim catered for, every curry cooked to perfection. (Yes, this reporter has covered the IPL. Those curries!)

But the real fun starts in a few days on February 20, when teh annual auction is held. It's like they're selling cattle or coal, except it's cricketers.

Thirty Australians have been put up for auction by the managers, many of them lesser known cricketers who you may have seen in the BBL but never in Australian colours. You can see the list of hopefuls here.

For some of the Aussies competing in the upcoming T20 international series against Sri Lanka which starts this Friday night in Melbourne, the stakes are extra high. If the likes of Pat Cummins and Michael Klinger perform well, it could mean more than success on home soil. It could mean Indian millions.

Oh, and Shane Watson's latest news? Well, he's made some handy runs and taken five wickets in two games for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League being played in the United Arab Emirates.

Barely one word in that sentence would have made sense a few years ago, but cricket is different now. Very different.



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