Vics baffled by duo's IPL contracts
The cancellation of the Twenty20 Champions League has deprived Victorian cricketers of a chance to present their resumes to Indian Premier League franchises, after the courting of two young NSW players left some Bushrangers "flabbergasted and upset".
Victorian wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite said the signing of NSW all-rounder Moises Henriques to the Kolkata Knightriders for up to $300,000 and IPL interest in the unheralded but explosive David Warner was baffling because the Bushrangers had dominated Australia's Twenty20 competition since its inception.
Victoria and Western Australia were looking forward to pitting themselves against the best Twenty20 sides from India, South Africa, England and Pakistan, but on Friday night, executives said the Champions League would be postponed until next October because of the recent Mumbai terror attacks, meaning they will have to qualify again through the local competition in January.
Crosthwaite also had hoped to show his credentials on the world stage, and perhaps attract attention from IPL franchises.
"It is devastating we're not going. It was a great chance to play against international players on an international stage, which we don't really get to do," he said.
"We were really looking forward to pitting ourselves against Middlesex, who we have been watching, and the South Africans and IPL teams to see where we are at.
"On a personal level, it might have been a chance to whack a few and get yourself onto a list, which would be an amazing experience for your cricket."
The interest in Henriques and Warner signals a shift in recruiting philosophy from the IPL, which cannot count on the participation of international stars because of the crowded calendar, but Bushrangers players — with the exception of the centrally contracted Cameron White, David Hussey and Brad Hodge — are yet to receive offers.
"It is a bit strange. We have been the best team for three years and personally I believe we have much better players than the two who have been put up to go in the IPL," Crosthwaite said.
"We are a bit flabbergasted and upset that some of our players haven't been mentioned when we have won so many games over the past three years."
Fellow Bushranger Aiden Blizzard, who like Crosthwaite has excelled in the shortest form of the game, would be an obvious target for IPL teams looking to boost their hitting power.
"Like everyone I'm disappointed (at the cancellations)," Blizzard said. "For someone like myself who is young it would have been great to play in India and get some exposure. I would like to think it's not a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Both said the prizemoney — a share of $6 million and a rare windfall for domestic cricketers — would have been a bonus, and expressed determination to earn the right to compete in next year's Champions League.
"No one is going to miss their mortgage repayments because of it but having said that it might have been a chance for some of the younger guys to set themselves up by getting a couple of investments," Crosthwaite said.
"If we sit around and lick our wounds and talk about how unlucky we are and then don't perform well (to re-qualify), that's going to be more disappointing."
Cricket Victoria and the WACA are counting their losses, and intend to attempt to recover their costs from Cricket Australia.
The states stood to bank about $500,000 each, and as much as $2 million if they won the tournament. Instead, they have a bill for expenses already incurred, which in Victoria's case runs to about $100,000 spent on travel, training and playing gear and other incidentals.
"It's a significant amount for a state association," said CV chief executive Tony Dodemaide. "The main impact will be the expenses we have incurred rather than the opportunities lost. We will be talking to Cricket Australia about this and, hopefully, we can reach a sensible solution to recoup some of those costs."