The lives of Colin Munro and his family may change forever when bidding begins at the Indian Premier League auction in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

The New Zealand cricketer — who this month topped the rankings as the world's best Twenty20 batsman and was the first to score three international T20 centuries — will discover whether his transition to play as a limited-overs opener convinces a franchise to hire his services, presumably for an unruly sum of cash.

He has previously been signed to the Mumbai Indians, but has only played four IPL matches for the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2016.

That contract was worth $67,000; a distance from the $2.6 million contracts of Australians David Warner and Steve Smith, and Indian star Virat Kohli's $3.6m IPL deal which are already locked in for 2018.


A lifetime of financial security can come with the bang of a gavel — but speculation and assumptions can prove unfounded. Munro is not getting ahead of himself.

The date of November 14, 2002, resonates more with the 30-year-old from Howick.

That's the day Munro arrived in New Zealand from South Africa to forge a new life with his parents and older brother. They moved to Pakuranga, leaving his formative years behind in Durban.

"We got out of South Africa when we could," he says.

"It's a beautiful country but there's a lot of crime. Besides, there are South African shops everywhere in Auckland now. The main thing I miss are family and close mates."

Just over four years after arriving, Munro made his first-class debut for Auckland.

In the interim he had met Tehere — pronounced Te-ray — a fellow South African emigre and schoolmate at Pakuranga College.

They started out as mates. Now they are five years' married with two children — 3-year-old Chloe and 22-month-old Connor.

"I emigrated the year before Colin," Tehere says — her date was February 8, 2001.

Her mum and stepdad decided there was no promising future in South Africa, particularly for women. They lived in Darwin for a year, then her stepdad was headhunted to work in New Zealand.

"At Pakuranga College I was pulled into the dean's office one morning and told 'another South African has arrived'," Tehere says.

"I was into my sport. They had heard Colin was too, so would I mind taking him under my wing and showing him around the place."

"We were great friends at school and would watch each other play sport," Colin says.

"Then, when everyone else went to study at places like Dunedin and Wellington, we stayed in contact in Auckland, hit it off one night and the rest is history."

Tehere works as a practice nurse a couple of days a week, after starting her career in Middlemore Hospital's accident and emergency department. She spends the rest of her time raising their children.

"Colin was a family man. He wanted children early but I was a bit reluctant because I'm a career woman.

"We decided to give kids a go, but he got his first call up to New Zealand [in 2012] so we put that on hold, then decided to go ahead after I'd been working six or seven years.

"My employer [The Doctors, a clinic in Pakuranga] was really helpful. They gave me a sabbatical to travel with Colin when Chloe was young, because he wanted us on the road with him where possible.

"I was working full-time until the Caribbean League last year, but felt I was burning the candle at both ends with two children, so reduced my hours."

Colin says he has a "three-week threshold" where he tries to get his family to visit or travel with him during the home summer.

"We're fortunate the team culture encourages that. As cricketers there's so much down time and, if you're there by yourself, it can be lonely in a hotel room.

"When your family's there, it becomes more like an everyday life."

That has not always been the case with New Zealand cricket teams, something pointed out to Tehere on her first international tour with Colin, to England in 2013.

"Other women on tour said 'you guys are really fortunate, because it was difficult back in the day'.

"I'm grateful New Zealand Cricket have made families a priority. They're huge believers that wherever the boys are, families are welcome too, because it helps keep them grounded.

"I know that's the case for Colin. He wants us going everywhere, and it's generally me who has to put the foot down to stay home and give the kids some normality."

So how will their lives be affected if the IPL owners come bearing open cheques?

"The IPL is a lottery," Tehere says. "We've been in this game long enough to know that you never know what's going to happen. It's a fickle time. If he goes well, awesome; if not, we'll ride the wave another year."

Munro's prodigious six-hitting has catapulted him into the national consciousness, particularly as the first batsman to hit three T20 international centuries.

A player once on the fringes has been thrust into the mainstream, at least in white ball formats. Many would argue a first-class average of 51.58 at a strike rate of 99 from 48 matches, including 13 centuries, also deserves to add to his one test cap against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 2013.

Instead Munro will continue using his licence to unleash across 20 or 50 overs, a tactic that could pay dividends at the World Cup in 17 months.

He now knows the preservation of his wicket is more of a luxury than a necessity when igniting each Black Caps' innings.

The truth will be borne out further against Champions Trophy winners Pakistan.

If Munro can negotiate the guile of Mohammad Amir and the world's No.1 ODI bowler Hasan Ali, he should feel assured against anyone.

He's scored 58 and a duck ahead of today's third ODI in Dunedin.

Munro's renaissance may become a case study for New Zealand Cricket salvations. A full-time freelance future loomed, but he eventually signed a national contract.

He regularly seeks the advice of former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. They starred together for the champion Trinbago Knight Riders in last year's Caribbean Premier League.

"Brendon's been the one cricketing constant I can fall back on, regardless of whether I'm going through a rough or a good patch. He keeps me grounded by having a laugh and a beer.

"It just happens naturally. It's not like 'hey mate, I'm phoning you because I need some cricket knowledge'.

"His mantra is always to be aggressive and, if you're not sure of something, take the positive option."

Munro says that was harder to grasp in practice.

"I would start thinking 'I might be playing for a spot'. Then they [management] whacked home the whole 'team first' thing.

"As long as I'm playing my natural game and doing what's best for the team at a specific time, then so be it if I get out."

Munro needed to convince coach Mike Hesson he was ready to open, despite limited experience in the role.

"After Brendon's retirement, I was in and out of the Black Caps batting at No.5 or 6, and bowling a couple of overs — a bits-and-pieces cricketer.

"I thought 'how can I influence the team more and make meaningful contributions?'. The best way is with a quick 30-40 to accelerate the innings at the top.

"When I first asked "Hess" and team management about opening, they felt I was better suited down the order. They told me to keep working on it, especially against the swinging ball at training.

"Eventually I got a chance and it's worked well so far. I think it suits my game."

Last summer was frustrating for Munro.

He shone on occasion, including a maiden T20 international century from 52 balls and a highest ODI score of 87, both against Bangladesh.

However, he also struggled. A two and three in ODIs against Australia, supplemented by a golden duck in the South African T20, meant no further international duty was forthcoming.

His problems intensified when he was stood down from the eighth round of Plunket Shield for using "inappropriate language" in a match between Auckland and Canterbury.

Fears rose that Munro's talent might never be fully harnessed.

It would have been understandable for him to put franchise cricket ahead of international honours, with various leagues clamouring for his services.

Yet somewhere between playing as a lower-order batsman in May's tri-series against Bangladesh and Ireland, and the Indian limited-overs tour, he got approval to open.

He may finally stamp his mark on the international cricketing world as a result, but his thoughts never stray far from East Auckland.

"People have said 'sell your house and go back to live comfortably in South Africa' but there's no chance of that. New Zealand is home, Tehere's here, my two kids were born here; I wouldn't move back for anything."