Josh Hazlewood misses out on IPL riches in $1.4 million sacrifice for wife and child

The star paceman was not picked up at the IPL auction despite being one of the world's best bowlers.

Pictured here is Aussie cricket star Josh Hazlewood and his wife.
Josh Hazlewood has turned down the huge money on offer in the IPL to prioritise his wife and the birth of their first child. Pic: Getty

Josh Hazlewood has turned down the riches of the Indian Premier League to focus on his family after being one of several high-profile Aussie cricket stars to go unsold at the IPL auction. Hazlewood's Aussie pace bowling partner Mitchell Starc became the highest-paid player in the history of the competition after being picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a record $4.42 million.

Starc hasn't played in the competition since 2015 as he prioritised his Australian Test career, his body and his family over the millions on offer in the lucrative T20 league. It's an approach that Hazlewood has also decided to take after news emerged that the Aussie quick is expecting his first child with wife, Cherina Murphy Christian.

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Hazlewood was superb in Australia's successful ODI World Cup campaign and took two wickets against India in the final. He is also the world's No.5 ranked bowler in T20 cricket but was released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, despite being bought by the franchise for a then-record $1.44m ahead of the 2022 season.

RCB coach Andy Fowler said Hazlewood's exciting baby news was behind the shock decision from the franchise not to retain the classy quick. Fowler did perhaps appear to leave the door slightly ajar for Hazlewood to re-join his side after the birth of his first child, which is expected at the end of March.

Seen here, Aussie cricket star Josh Hazlewood and wife Cherina Murphy-Christian.
Australia's Cricket World Cup winner Josh Hazlewood has been released by his IPL side amid news he and wife Cherina Murphy-Christian are expecting their first child. Pic: Getty/Instagram

“I’ve just come off the phone with Josh,” the RCB coach said recently. “He, very pleasingly, has a baby on the way, due at the end of March. So Josh won’t be with us, certainly not for the first half of the season.”

With the IPL season set to get underway on March 31 - potentially days after Hazlewood and his wife have their baby - it explains why the Aussie star was overlooked in the IPL auction. Hazlewood was one of 15 Aussie stars not picked up by an IPL franchise, with Steve Smith the highest-profile of those to go unsold.

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Smith, Hazlewood, Josh Inglis and Sean Abbott were all available at a base price of $357k but no franchise decided to buy them. It's yet another blow for Smith in the shortest format of the game, where he averages just 25.69 in 65 matches for Australia, despite boasting a slightly better record at domestic level.

Smith has played in the IPL with Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiant and Delhi Capitals. His average of 34.51 is solid but his strike rate of 128 is perhaps short of what many teams would be looking for in the T20 competition.

As for Starc, the record-breaking quick says he has no regrets about sacrificing the huge money on offer in the IPL for so many years. The left-arm paceman - who is married to fellow Aussie cricket star Alyssa Healy - has been able to focus on his family, managing his body and prolonging his Test career by opting not to play in the IPL until now.

"I made some choices, which I don't regret at all," Starc told the Willow Talk cricket podcast. "I think it's probably helped my Test career, so I'm very happy with how it's all gone. Very grateful to have some interest in the auction and excited, thrilled, surprised. There's plenty of words you can describe the night."

with AAP

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