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Andrew Alderson: Timing perfect for IPL hopes

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Colin Munro could earn a IPL contract after a strong T20 campaign for NZ. Photo / Alan Gibson.
Colin Munro could earn a IPL contract after a strong T20 campaign for NZ. Photo / Alan Gibson.

Colin Munro's 16-minute frenzy against Sri Lanka on January 10 may be his best investment of batting time.

The impact of his 50 off 14 balls, the second-fastest Twenty20 international half-century, has resonated beyond Eden Park and embedded itself in the boardrooms of Indian Premier League franchises preparing for the annual auction.

In contrast, the consistent limited overs form of Martin Guptill over the past year should see him debut in the IPL. The prospect of Guptill delivering his trademark seven-iron over long-on will have owners hallucinating about clicking turnstiles.

Both should be subject to decent bidding at the February 6 auction.

They've picked the ideal time to unleash. Deliver in January and you leave a hotspot the size of a ripe orange on franchise bidding bats.

Just ask Corey Anderson or Trent Boult. On New Year's Day 2014 Anderson mustered a world record 36-ball ODI century against the West Indies in Queenstown, and became a sensation overnight. The Mumbai Indians snaffled him for 45 crores per season ($1.02 million under current exchange rates).

Likewise, Boult's test bowling pedigree was known by last January, and his ODI statistics were improving. Sunrisers Hyderabad offered 38 crores - ($869,000) a season. He had only played seven T20Is, but securing wickets every 16 balls was enough to convince his future employers.

The IPL can be a lottery but, as well as their abilities, Munro and Guptill can be thankful they are part of a New Zealand environment perpetuating success. Each team member has a specific role and, at T20 level, the pair have a licence to clear the pickets while Kane Williamson farms the strike or cashes in at the other end.

T20 is a batsman's world. Patrons pay to see boundary runs more than wickets and Guptill and Munro's recent form provides a perfect match.

However, there is a caveat.

The incomes can set them up for life, but it can't be at the expense of the vehicles that got them there - the New Zealand team, the school, club and provincial coaching system, and the fans who dedicate unconditional support.

As long as any New Zealand IPL recruits remember that, and adjust their workloads to avoid placing greed over obligation, they'll be on the cusp of extraordinary sporting and financial success; plus they'll earn the public's respect.

- NZ Herald

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Covers sport across NZME's print, digital and radio brands.

Andrew writes and broadcasts on cricket and the Olympic disciplines for NZME's print, digital, video and radio platforms. His most recent project followed New Zealand sportspeople competing in Europe during the 2015 northern summer. He has attended four cricket World Cups, three Olympics and regularly works as a correspondent overseas.

Read more by Andrew Alderson

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