Kane puts wedding, Test dream before IPL
Fast bowler Kane Richardson is the latest Australian to make the brave decision to forgo Indian Premier League riches and prioritise the longest format of the game.
The 26-year-old, one of the KFC Big Bash League’s leading performers in recent seasons, revealed that he decided against putting in for a fourth stint in cricket’s most lucrative T20 competition, instead electing to put his Test ambitions before financial gain.
Richardson has one other good reason to sit out the IPL.
“I’m actually getting married in April,” he told cricket.com.au. “A bit of pressure to stay at home this year.”
As a 21-year-old with only six first-class matches to his name, Richardson was picked up for a cool $US700,000 by the Pune Warriors for the 2013 edition of the IPL, before returning to play for Rajasthan Royals the following year and then Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016.
Considering his strong BBL|07 form (he claimed 12 wickets at 26 in his first season with the Melbourne Renegades, while his economy rate of 8.06 is a solid figure considering he bowls primarily in the Power Play and at the death) and the fact Australian fast bowlers are always in high demand by IPL clubs, Richardson would likely have been a hot commodity at the auction.
The other three quicks in Australia’s T20I squad – Andrew Tye (purchased by Kings XI Punjab for $A1.4m), Ben Dwarshuis (Kings XI, A$271,000) and Billy Stanlake (Sunrisers Hyderabad A$97,000) – all earned IPL deals, as did the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Laughlin, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
But, just as Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Marsh and Peter Handscomb have all done in recent seasons, Richardson has put the longest format first and opted to skip the tournament.
“It’s a hard decision because of the financial rewards,” he explained. “Not a lot of guys do it.
“I’ve put in a little bit more of a goal to play more Shield cricket and I thought if I play upwards of seven Shield games, the body is going to need a fair bit of a rest.
“I experienced it (the IPL) as a young bloke and made a little bit of money over there so that makes it easier having had that happen.
“I’m still only 27 next so hopefully I can get over there a few more times.”
Richardson’s 20 international matches have all come in one-day and T20 cricket but he’s making a concerted effort to put his name forward for Test cricket.
Last summer was a breakout Sheffield Shield campaign for the South Australian, claiming 32 wickets at 26 before injury struck at the back-end of the season and was ultimately an unlucky omission for the Redbacks’ Shield final clash with Victoria.
The right-armer has again missed time through injury this season and is realistic about his Baggy Green prospects.
“I’m still a long way away from playing Test cricket but it’s still a goal to play,” Richardson said.
“Whether or not (missing) the IPL helps that, I’m not sure.
“I’m pretty big on giving the body a rest and building back up through the preseason in Adelaide and hopefully playing more cricket throughout our home summer.”
Richardson has gone at a little more than six runs per over in Australia’s two wins to begin their Gilette T20 tri-series, and will again lead the attack on Saturday night at the MCG against England.
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.