Bidding slice: a Tasmanian rapid with an unwanted anecdote and a # 3 making a comeback

“Why aren’t you a bowler?”
Sam Billings, the England wicket-keeper batsman who had relatively forgettable stints at Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils, remained unsold. But he took the snub sportingly, taking to Twitter: “My girlfriend Sarah just turns to me and says… ‘why aren’t you a melon?’ Under the post, his friend and Afghan leg player Rashid Khan joked: “Spinner or quick pitcher?” To which Billings, who has played a single ball in his competitive cricket career, quickly asked, “Teach me how to turn my legs.”

Fairly “Coulter-Nile” flow
Nathan Coulter-Nile entered IPL as a Mumbai Indians player in 2013. He was shunned a year later, before joining them in 2020 after a rocky auction session for Rs 8 crore after stints ravaged by injuries with RCB, KKR and Delhi Daredevils. Just before the recent auction it was dumped again, which didn’t really surprise him after an unspectacular transport from 5 wickets to 41 and an economy rate of 7.92. “I expected this to happen. I hope I can be picked up again this year, ”he told Australian press shortly after hearing the news. But he couldn’t expect the reigning champions to pick him up soon after (albeit at almost half the sum, still a princely crore of Rs 5). Maybe it was just to cut his huge salary. Coulter-Nile, however, would not be bothered.

17 executes a ball at Rs 8 crore
Fast Tasmanian Riley Meredith was kind of a surprise pick when Punjab Kings shelled out Rs 8 crore to acquire his signing. Strapping, nippy and in possession of an assortment of T20 tools, it is all the rage in the BBL. However, he still has a few unwanted anecdotes attached to his name. The bowler who conceded 17 kicks a single ball. In a BBL game against the Melbourne Renegades in 2019, he passed his fourth ball and conceded five broads, 10 without balls and a single. His team, Hobart Hurricanes, however, fell 16 points.

Another applause
After six years in the wilderness, Cheteshwar Pujara finally has an IPL home. All these years he had put his name on the auction list, only to be ignored on several occasions, even by a franchise based in his hometown of Rajkot. But this time, Chennai Super Kings bought it for Rs 50 lakh, Pujara’s base price. No other franchise showed interest, but soft but warm applause flooded the room. This continued until the deal was sealed. Pujara expressed his gratitude, “Thank you for showing faith. Look forward to it! “Another Test Match specialist, R Ashwin, would applaud the signing:” So happy for @ cheteshwar1 Well deserved !! C’mon mate.

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