IPL 2013

'I have never in my life seen this much money'

In ten minutes at the IPL auction, South Africa allrounder Chris Morris went from a franchise cricketer on a decent contract to rich beyond his dreams

Firdose Moonda

February 3, 2013

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Chris Morris celebrates a wicket, Delhi Daredevils v Lions, 1st semi-final, Champions League T20, Durban, October 25, 2012
Chennai Super Kings have given Chris Morris 625,000 reasons to celebrate © AFP
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Chris Morris was in the Kimberley dressing room with his Lions team-mates on Sunday morning. Little did he know he was sitting on a diamond mine.

Across the Indian Ocean, the IPL auction was taking place. Morris was one of the outsiders, with a base price of just US$20,000. That is the equivalent of R177,000 - which can buy a mid-level new car in South Africa.

Interested to see if he would be picked up by any team, Morris and some of his team-mates turned on an iPad and watched the action unfold live on this website. Three franchises bid for Morris - the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Super Kings' bid reached US$95,000 and then Mumbai upped to US$100,000. Gordon Parsons, the Lions bowling coach, "grabbed the iPad away from me and saw that it was up to 100,000," Morris told ESPNcricinfo. "He said, 'Good going, that's a fair amount of money.'" But that was not all.

Mumbai soon doubled the amount, then Chennai raised, and so the ping-pong went. Morris' head was spinning. "Neil McKenzie had a little joke with me when it got to 450,000 but nobody could really believe what was happening," he said.

Eventually the hammer was hit when Super Kings put $625,000 on the table. That was more than 31 times the amount Morris was initially up for. In rands, he will now earn R5.5 million which can buy anything from a luxury home to a massive investment. "I have never in my life seen this much money," he admitted. In the space of ten minutes, Morris went from a franchise cricketer on a decent contract to a multi-millionaire.

The first thing his team-mates wanted to know was what he was going to do with his riches. "I honestly don't know," he said, before giving it a little more thought. "I suppose one of the things I'd like to do is give my parents anything they should like and spoil them a little bit."

Willie Morris, Chris' father, is a former Northern Transvaal first-class cricketer, so the sporting genes in the family are strong. It took Morris junior a few years before he was recognised after going through the academy structures. He was only contracted by a franchise two seasons ago, but since then his stocks have risen steadily.

 
 
"I suppose one of the things I'd like to do is give my parents anything they should like and spoil them a little bit"
 

Morris was the leading wicket-taker for the Lions in last summer's domestic T20 competition and played an important part in getting them to the final. It also opened the door for the team to participate in the Champions League Twenty20, which has become a launch pad for domestic cricketers from Davy Jacobs to Kieron Pollard.

It was likewise a showroom for Morris, who played a telling role in the Lions' run to the final, with his finishing ability and genuine quick bowling. He only picked up 1 for 24 against Super Kings but he caught Stephen Fleming's eye. "He came and had a chat to me afterwards and said he was impressed with the way I bowled," Morris said. "So I guess that was a big platform for me."

The wicket Morris claimed that day was that of Faf du Plessis, who is a fairly close acquaintance, and had also been talking to him about the possibility of playing in the IPL. Although Morris said he has no preference about which team bought him, his already existing relationships with players at Super Kings means he is probably at the right place. "Fleming was one of my heroes as a schoolboy, so it will be an honour to be around him. And obviously with Faf and Albie [Morkel] playing there, it's going to be quite fun."

Morris is also looking forward to going to India for the first time and seeing Chennai, where "I've heard it's pretty hot". Because the CLT20 was played in South Africa last year, not India, Morris missed out on the chance to see the subcontinent. "But I've heard stories from people like Faf about how everyone is cricket-crazy, and I really just want to experience the vibe there."

While the euphoria sinks in, there are also some very real concerns for Morris around injury. A quad niggle kept him out of the domestic one-day cup final and recurred to rule him out of the T20 series against New Zealand. It was believed that in the last IPL, Marchant de Lange, another quick, sustained the stress fracture that kept him out of action for the entire summer.

Workload is a trending topic, especially for bowlers, and Morris is aware that he will need to monitor his. "That quad injury was a real eye opener for me," he said. "I realised how quickly things can change in a career. I've been working hard with the physiotherapist on my rehab processes and on getting my body right, and at the moment I am feeling good and ready to play." Super Kings will hope it stays that way.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ProdigyA on (February 5, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

@YS_USA - what logic is that? Those rates remain same even if he had got his base price of $20K. So the more money he makes, the more he will have to share but also there is more money in his pocket. Its like suggesting not to take any promotions in life or make more money to avoid paying more tax.

Posted by nikheelkumar16 on (February 4, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

I Love this Sentense "I suppose one of the things I'd like to do is give my parents anything they should like and spoil them a little bit."

Posted by YS_USA on (February 4, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Chris, please do not get over excited. You are lucky if you get $300,000, because the top 20% of the contract money, about $130,00, will be given to only players whose teams make in the top 3 positions in the final standings. The next 20% is paid pro rata based on games actully paid and after that, there is 30% flat tax,

Posted by Prady2013 on (February 4, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

How is he going to be paid? at the end of IPL, 625000? or match wise? contract wise? Tough for him to get into the team...

Posted by ramz_01 on (February 4, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

dis is not jackpot sumthing like dat mate, dis is ur hard work paid off. wish you all da best from sri lankan.

Posted by A_N_I on (February 4, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

Living the Indian Dream huh !

Posted by here2rock on (February 4, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Really a good story, dreams do come true! Good luck to him.

Posted by bestbuddy on (February 4, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

@soumyas, he is a promising all rounder. Maybe not quite to the bowling standard of bollinger or Hilfaunhas yet, but he is bowling far better than Morkel (and faster, usually mid 140's in t20), and hits the ball pretty much as well as Morkel too

Posted by thinkgood on (February 4, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Congrats Chris. CSK is a great team. But watch out for Chennai weather. Its HOT !

Posted by soumyas on (February 4, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Question is, can Morries makes it to playing 4 in front of players like Du plessy, Albei, Hussey, Baily, Bolinger, Hilfehaus, Kulasekara ? quite difficult isn't it? If not how much he will be paid ? i think it will be very difficult for him to be in playing 4.

Posted by Bowlersholding on (February 4, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

Must be honest, did not expect this. Suppose they were looking to fill a specific gap. Well done Chris, wish you good luck!

Posted by KEVINSL on (February 4, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

congrats mate.. hope you justify to your selection.

Posted by TheGamerX on (February 4, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

Good luck to him.. if he performs well then up in the next few seasons he might attract even more large money!

Posted by Chris_P on (February 3, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Good luck to him. Actually, scanning thru his stats, he seems more deserving of this amount than many others for he appears to be a T20 specialist with a very impressive strike rate to go with his bowling. Not having ever seen him, I would suggest his fielding is up to the usual high standard of the Boks, so seems a good selection for any team.

Posted by SCC08 on (February 3, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

Fact: Morris would be be playing International cricket for any other country. He also a very useful batsman and has fighting qualities. Watch him win many matches with both bat and ball. Quality bloke too.

Posted by ansram on (February 3, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

Good luck Morris. You must be mighty pleased.

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (February 3, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Congrats Morris, your a lucky guy.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (February 3, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

What a heart warming story. Why should cricketers and hockey players not be able to earn a decent living like footballers or basketball players do?

IPL and Hockey India League are a step in the right direction for these 2 major sports in India and internationally.

But overall, I believe this was a strange auction in the sense that many known players were left out and too many unknown Aussies were picked. I hope the IPL franchises' coaching staff comprising mostly of Australians does not have some kind of bias. If so, that would be very bad for the sport and this young league.

Posted by agam99 on (February 3, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

Happy to hear his story. Hopefully he will prove himself worth the goods spent on him.

Posted by Mayan. on (February 3, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

Good On IPL, As We All Know Its A Bit Of A Lottery ,

Posted by shripadk on (February 3, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

Good for him. Curse IPL all you want, but this is what it does for cricketers. Not all cricketers earn in millions in their home land or even with multiple contracts. Things like IPL gives them the money which they can use for long time. Mostly for securing their future in life. They can only earn so much playing first class cricket and that too has relatively early expiry date considering human life span. Really great to see such stories coming out of IPL.

Posted by CaptainKool on (February 3, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Well enjoy IPL. I hope that u may get a chance in top 11.

Posted by 12thman on (February 3, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

Good choice. Very handy cricketer.

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Mum Indians won by 23 runs
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