(K. Brent Tomer),
IF YOU are searching for evidence that cricket is gradually fragmenting into two different sports, the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) might be a good place to start. The competition pits eight star-studded teams against each other in the Twenty20 format, an abridged and heavy-hitting version of the sport launched in 2003. The most eye-catching acquisition in Monday’s pre-tournament auction was the purchase by Royal Challengers Bangalore of Tymal Mills: a 22-year-old English fast bowler who has never played an international match in the more prestigious five-day Test-cricket format (a congenital back condition makes playing such lengthy games impossible). Yet Mr Mills landed a contract worth $1.75m for this year’s IPL, making him the second most valuable overseas player in its 10-year history.
He is not the only big-money signing to have limited experience in Test cricket. Also looking forward to hefty salaries this year are Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Mohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, James Faulkner and David Miller—all of whom will earn at least $800,000 during the six-week bonanza. Those contracts represent significant investments, since each…Continue reading