At around $3400 per delivery, it's great work if you can get it as a Twenty20 gun for hire.
New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum was bound for Sri Lanka today $100,000 richer after his starring role for the Sydney Sixers, who blitzed South Africa's Lions by 10 wickets in the Champions League final in Johannesburg.
Winning prizemoney was US$2.5 million (NZ$3.04 million), and under the standard formula used by the New Zealand, South African and Australian sides at the tournament, half that is split among the 15-strong squad.
That puts McCullum's cut at $101,435. He played the last three of Sydney's six unbeaten matches, delivered five overs in total and scored 20 runs off 13 deliveries.
But he stood up when it mattered in the final at The Wanderers, thrown the new ball by skipper Brad Haddin and responding with 3-24 off four overs.
"It was a good opportunity today to open up with something different. I've opened the bowling before, so it's something that I'm used to," McCullum said.
Sydney, Australia's Big Bash champions, skittled the Lions for 121, then Haddin (37 off 33) and Englishman Michael Lumb (82 off 42) smashed the runs off 12.3 overs without loss.
"They would have been looking at our fast bowlers leading to this game and I don't think their two openers would have been thinking too much about our spinners. Tonight it paid off," Haddin said of opening with McCullum and fellow tweaker Steve O'Keefe.
McCullum was scheduled to touch down in Colombo early this afternoon then head to Pallekele where he'll be considered for New Zealand's one-off T20 match against Sri Lanka early tomorrow. Captain Ross Taylor said they had a full squad of 15 to choose from.
"It's outstanding. We don't often get people in finals," Taylor said of McCullum's effort. "It's nice to play in them, but to win them and put in a good performance adds to it . . . hopefully he can bring that experience and pass that on to the team."
New Zealand are familiar with Pallekele International Cricket Stadium having won one and lost three of their World T20 matches there.
Sri Lanka are without the rested Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, while the tourists rested opener Martin Guptill from the limited overs segment.
Taylor said all his squad would play either tomorrow, or in the first two ODIs of the five-match series. Canterbury youngster Tom Latham will open in Guptill's absence.
"He's batted there a lot at age group level and had a lot of success there in recent times so hopefully he can take his opportunity there," Taylor said.
Young fast bowler Adam Milne will also get his chance to impress.
Rain, however, could delay the start of the tour. It was falling heavily last night when New Zealand were scheduled to train.
The first ODI is also at Pallekele, starting at 10pm on Thursday.
"We are familiar with the ground and it's only been a month since that T20 World Cup so the wickets might be a bit tacky and a bit worn," Taylor said.
HOW THEY LINE UP
What: Sri Lanka v New Zealand, only Twenty20 international
Where: Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
When: 2.30am tomorrow, live on Sky Sport 1
TAB odds: SL $1.50, NZ $2.45
Sri Lanka (from): Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Akila Dananjaya, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga.
New Zealand (from): Rob Nicol, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (c), Kane Williamson, James Franklin, BJ Watling, Nathan McCullum, Andrew Ellis, Jacob Oram, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ronnie Hira, Adam Milne.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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