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IPL: Mills 'can't believe' he has been bought for big bucks in the Indian Premier League


Sussex's Tymal Mills was snapped up for the Indian Premier League tournament yesterday, fetching one of the highest ever auction prices.

The left-arm T20 specialist woke up on Monday morning hoping to get a gig at the IPL, but by the time he was having breakfast he had been bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.4m – the highest for any bowler in IPL history and a staggering 24 times his base auction price.

With Mills' sole focus being on T20 cricket, he will not miss any action for Sussex, as the Sharks do not begin their NatWest T20 Blast campaign until Sunday 9th July.

“I can’t believe it,” said the 24-year-old pace bowler, who impressed during England's recent T20 series in India. I can’t put into words what happened. I did not see this coming and it took a while for it to sink in. It has been a crazy day.

“I was up at 8.30am this morning and put the auction on TV. I had missed some of the batters get sold but saw Stokesy go for big money – that was awesome. I knew what time I was due to go up so didn’t have to wait long. When my turn came I was pretty nervous. I just wanted to get picked up.”

Mills, who is currently in Dubai playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League, enjoyed spells with Auckland Aces and Brisbane Heat earlier this winter and his life as a franchise cricketer would be complete if he could win an IPL deal.

“I was the lowest of the base prices because I just wanted to get picked up by a team,” he explained. "I didn’t want to wait until July for my next cricket, which would have been the NatWest T20 Blast.

“My agent had spoken to some of the teams and there had been some interest but until it happens you just don’t know what will happen. When my name came up I was nervous, giddy and jumpy. I was on Facetime with my best mate and he just kept shouting. The bidding was quite slow but once it hit 10 crore (£1.2m) I knew it was big money, but it kept going. When it finished I did not know how much it was worth. When I worked it out I could not believe it, it did not seem real. It’s an amount of money that can change your life. It will for me.”

Mills’ astonishment is all the more tangible given he almost retired from cricket 18 months ago with a chronic back injury.

“I went for breakfast with Luke Wright after watching the auction and he said the back injury might have been the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. "It was sad at the time, being 22 and having to think about retiring from the game, but being able to focus on T20 has accelerated my development.

“This is my first winter on the T20 circuit. I’ve played in the Big Bash, have the IPL coming up and am looking forward to playing with the Sussex lads in the Blast this summer too. It’s been fun. I’ve travelled the world and met some cool people. I’m grateful.”

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