Of course Kyle Jamieson is worth close to $3 million for an IPL campaign.
It's the free market, baby.
Jamieson's new-found wealth is the epitome of having a skillset in high demand and short supply; the result of playing a game loved by billions, in a tournament coveted by multiple broadcasters.
Of course three months of Kyle Jamieson isn't worth close to $3m.
It's a classic example of capitalism's "disrupted" sense of value.
Jamieson's new-found wealth is the epitome of the billionaire's folly, where objects are bought and sold for outlandish prices, not for the value they represent but the status they offer to owners.
Where you sit on this circular debate depends on whether you are more likely to wear a cloth cap or an embossed leather Gucci hat, but the man himself is unlikely to offer much to discourse beyond being acutely aware that his life had changed in the space of four increasingly frenzied minutes.
Let us recap those minutes.
Jamieson, the break out star of the Black Caps' season, is lot number 77. His base price is 75 lahk rupees, a tasty little $143,000 pay day that Jamieson would no doubt have been happy to take given he has played just 38 professional T20s, four of them internationals which, by his standards, have been average.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore auction posse, including the eternal schoolboy Mike Hesson, immediately signals their interest, as do the Delhi Daredevils.
The first piece of fortune (literally) is this: RCB are owned by United Spirits, a subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, which had revenues of $1.8 billion in 2020, and the Daredevils are co-owned by Indian infrastructure giants GMR Group and JSW Group, whose combined revenues equal more millions than there are beans in a beanbag. Within the bounds of the salary-cap restrictions, the odd million bucks here and there can be written off by both owners as petty cash.
The bidding moves incrementally and methodically in 5 lahk lots (a lahk is 100,000 rupees, a little more than $1900), until 100 is reached when it jumps to 10 lahk increases. The paddles show no sign of staying down and within a minute Delhi had bid 200 lahk where the jumps increase by 20 lahk.
The second piece of fortune is this: RCB are increasingly desperate having bid for and missed out on South African allrounder Chris Morris to the Rajasthan Royals and Australian quick Jhye Richardson to Punjab Kings XI.
The first pause of any note came at 600 lahk. By this stage Jamieson is a millionaire. His days of driving his jalopy to a self-service Gull to save a couple of cents-a-litre on petrol are over.
The pause is brief. Before you have time to contemplate the price of fame, Delhi comes back with 675 lahk and they are away again in 25 lahk intervals.
The third and most lucrative piece of fortune is this: a third bidder, Punjab, part-owned by Bollywood princess Preity Zinta, enters the fray.
When Delhi drops out the bidding gets more frenetic, not less so. Even auctioneer Hugh Edmeades seems drunk on dollars when he calls out the 1500 bid by Bangalore.
Zinta motions with a slash across her neck that Punjab is out. The gavel drops. Hesson fist bumps a table mate. Sold.
Wow, that escalated quickly.
"It was pretty surreal. It was such a unique experience to watch yourself go through an auction like that. It is weird. There's no textbook to say how you should approach that sort of stuff," Jamieson said.
He's not quite right there. There are textbooks and tomes aplenty to assist Jamieson from here on in, including George Clason's timeless The Richest Man in Babylon, and any number of standards in the personal finance section of your nearest Whitcoulls.
He is dead right that it's weird. New Zealand is a country where income information is jealously guarded. Instead, Jamieson's big pay day is out there for public dissemination. He's expected to talk about it in a sensible and humble fashion.
We now know that Jamieson will earn in three months what it would take a good teacher who positively influences the lives of thousands of impressionable children 38 years to earn.
That is weird; it is surreal.
It is not "wrong" though.
Jamieson has had a wondrous start to his international cricket career. He is quite probably brilliant. His skills are rare and sought after.
He is fortunate in that he plays in a time when those skills are up for auction.
So any time the vulgarity of the IPL is mentioned, it might be worth considering this.
One of New Zealand's most dynamic allrounders died on our national day this year. Bruce Taylor had his demons, no doubt, but he had a skillset made for the modern game.
He left this world with very little.
The equivalence might be awkward, but the larger point remains: cricket in the age of the IPL is a much better place for the players and even if the numbers don't always make sense, that should be celebrated.
It's a bit rich to argue otherwise.