‘Don’t enter IPL auction if you’re afraid of being embarrassed’ – Mills

A year is a long time in the world of a T20 freelance cricketer. Twelve months ago, Tymal Mills was gearing up for his first crack at sporting superstardom, after being snapped up by Bangalore Royal Challengers for a whopping GBP1.4 million at the 2017 IPL auction – a true rags-to-riches tale for a player who had feared, due to a degenerative back condition, that he might be forced to retire before he had even reached his prime.But now, Mills is back to being on the outside looking in where the IPL’s concerned – he was snubbed at this year’s auction after an underwhelming run of form for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash, and overlooked too in the draft for the Caribbean Premier League (although, as he later clarified on Twitter, a partial clash with his county commitments at Sussex meant he had never fully expected a gig).
But Mills insists he has no complaints about the way in which his life has reverted to the norm, or indeed about the process of the IPL auction itself – which has attracted criticism in some quarters, most notably from the chief executive of New Zealand’s players’ association, Heath Mills, that it is “undignified” and “cruel” to parade players like “cattle”.
Tymal Mills says he is pleased to have made the decision to travel to Pakistan for the latter stages of this year’s PSL, having opted out of travelling for last year’s final.“It was a great experience,” Mills said, after his Karachi Kings side lost their semi-final to Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore. “I was only out there for 2-3 days but the security was like nothing I’d seen before. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the country but just saw the airport, hotel and ground. But I felt incredibly safe.“As with all Asian countries, it was a full stadium, 25-30,000 there, noise all throughout the game. It was really good for Pakistan cricket that these games went well and were well received.”
“It’s a little bit tough, but don’t put yourself in it if you’re scared of being humiliated or embarrassed,” Mills told ESPNcricinfo. “If you don’t get picked. It’s just the way it is. I’ve felt the good and the bad of the auction, I was obviously the belle of the ball last year and this year I wasn’t involved. That’s okay. We’re all big boys and we have got take the rough with the smooth.
“It’s not like that in any other league because there’s not the money elsewhere that there is in the IPL,” he added. “The only way to spread out that type of money is through the auction system, I think. Obviously with other leagues, it’s capped and there’s less money involved so you can split it – you can do it in a draft and it’s a bit more regimented – but with the money that the IPL generates and the passion and everything that India brings to cricket.
, it’s just the way it is.”
And Mills certainly has no reason to bite the hand that chose not to feed him this year. After all, it’s not as if the vast sum of money that RCB coughed up for his services last year has gone up in smoke, KLF-style.
“I was very, very fortunate last year,” Mills said. “I invested it well, bought myself a property and all those nice things. I’ve definitely experienced both sides of the coin – obviously things couldn’t have been better last year with the contract I was able to get, and obviously this year I didn’t get one, so it works both ways, but I wasn’t expecting to get one.