Kane Richardson has decided to prioritise the longer format of the game over the IPL. The fast bowler has revealed that his decision to opt out of this year’s player auction – which turned a number of his Australia team-mates into millionaires – was motivated by two reasons: his impending wedding, which is scheduled for April and could thus clash with the early matches of the IPL, and a desire to focus on Sheffield Shield cricket in a bid to push for a Test place.
Richardson has played 15 ODIs and five T20Is, but is yet to wear the Baggy Green.
Richardson was sold to Pune Warriors for USD 700,000 in 2013, despite having played just six first-class matches until then. He has since gone on to play for Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, and has picked up 18 wickets in 14 matches over three seasons. He took seven wickets in four matches for Royal Challengers in 2016, and was released by the franchise ahead of the 2017 season.
Richardson feels he has a lot of time left in him to pursue his financial ambitions.
“It’s a hard decision because of the financial rewards,” he told cricket.com.au. “Not a lot of guys do it. I experienced it (the IPL) as a young bloke and made a little bit of money over there so that makes it easier having had that happen. I’m still only 27 next so hopefully, I can get over there a few more times.
“I’ve put in a little bit more of a goal to play more Shield cricket and I thought if I play upwards of seven Shield games, the body is going to need a fair bit of a rest.”
Richardson had a successful Sheffield Shield campaign in the 2016-17 summer with South Australia, picking up 32 wickets at an average of 25.93 before he was struck by injury towards the end of the season, which kept him out of the final against Victoria. He has nine wickets in two games in the ongoing 2017-18 season, at 26.33.
Considering the demand for Australian quicks this year, Richardson is likely to have earned a lucrative deal at the IPL auction. As someone who bowls primarily in the Powerplay and death overs, his Big Bash League record of 49 wickets at 26.08 and an economy rate of 7.9 would have caught the eyes of the franchises.
“I’m still a long way away from playing Test cricket but it’s still a goal to play,” Richardson said. Whether or not (missing) the IPL helps that, I’m not sure.”
Richardson is a part of Australia’s attack in the ongoing Trans-Tasman T20 tri-series, and has picked up one wicket in the first two matches while conceding 6.88 runs per over. (ESPNCricinfo)