'I can’t believe this': Aussie captain's IPL snub stuns Michael Clarke

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Australia's T20 captain Aaron Finch is seen looking determined in this photo.
Australia's T20 captain Aaron Finch was a high-profile snub at this year's IPL auction. Pic: Getty

This year's lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) auction threw up plenty of winners and losers in Australian men's cricket.

While fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith became instant millionaires, several of Australia's most high-profile Twenty T20 players missed out altogether.

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Included in the list of high-profile snubs were Aussie captain Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne.

Finch has been one of the standout players in international T20 cricket over recent years, with former Australia Test captain Michael Clarke left gobsmacked that not one single franchise decided to bid for the 34-year-old.

“Are the Australian selectors wrong in Aaron Finch being our Twenty20 captain or is every IPL franchise wrong?” former Australian captain Michael Clarke asked on Sky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast.

“I can’t believe this. The Australian Twenty20 captain has not been bought. Someone is wrong.

“In no sport on the planet can you captain Australia and miss out on a tournament with a truckload of teams. Don’t tell me Aaron Finch is not good enough to be a part of one of those IPL teams.

“I cannot believe Finchy hasn’t been picked up. Even for Finchy, that’s got to hurt as the Australian T20 captain. I think he’s still, definitely at the top of the order, one of the best in the world.”

Pictured here, Michael Clarke and Aaron Finch.
Michael Clarke cannot understand why Aaron Finch didn't get picked up at the IPL auction. Pic: Getty

Finch has the distinguished honour of holding the highest-ever score in international T20 history, with an extraordinary 172 runs against Zimbabwe in 2018.

His 156 against England in 2013 is also the third-highest score in T20i history.

However, Finch's struggles with the bat last season perhaps go some way to explaining his IPL snub, with the opener managing just 179 runs in 13 innings during the recent Big Bash League.

Moreover, the Renegades skipper failed to score more than 40 runs in any of those innings.

Finch was also unceremoniously axed by Royal Challengers Bangalore for youngster Josh Philippe at the back end of last year's IPL season after struggling for form.

Meanwhile, Richardson was still in shock on Friday after becoming one of Australian cricket's overnight millionaires, landing a dream deal with Punjab for this year's competition.

The 24-year-old West Australian paceman admitted he woke up on Friday as exhausted as he would be if he had just played a game, after frantically scribbling down the conversion calculation for 1400 Lakh.

"I think I've just mentally exhausted myself of all these emotions of feeling sick and excited," Richardson said from the Australian squad's quarantine hotel in New Zealand.

"It's life changing to be honest.

"Your emotions take over and you kind of forget (the conversion rate), you double check it, triple check, quadruple check.

"I was scribbling on papers, nervous hands, still sinking in but it took a moment."

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Other big Australian winners were Glenn Maxwell and Meredith, who went for $2.52 and $1.42 million to Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab respectively.

For Richardson his maiden IPL deal opens up so many other doors, after his tournament-high 29 BBL wickets caught the attention of franchises.

His only other cricket in Asia two years ago saw his one-day World Cup spot taken away when he dislocated his shoulder and started 18 months of problems.

Now though, he can push for another World Cup in the Twenty20 format with the global tournament to be held in India later this year.

"It's a nice bonus from where I was 12 months ago," Richardson said.

"All the questions go through your mind when you have such a long recovery or such a big injury whether or not you'll get back to your best.

"If you're performing well in any competition that's the best thing you can possibly do, be confident in your own game and play well."

with AAP

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