It truly is a world game these days when the misdemeanours of three Australian players in South Africa cost them their deals with franchises in the Indian Premier League.
True, it probably didn’t help that Steve Smith and David Warner were captains of the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively, but the ball-tampering row occurred when they were playing for a different team, in a different continent in a different format.
For further proof that waves have been made one needs only to look at the IPL outright. BMR’s green-listed bookmakers have pushed out Rajasthan and Sunrisers. Bet365 have eased the Royals out to +700 and there was a loss of confidence in Sunrisers, too, until they announced Warner’s replacement.
Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skip and genuine good egg, has got the gig. Bettors are quite happy about that. They are +650 with Bet365 and +600 with William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Williamson actually doesn’t impress us as a tactician. Sure, he’s a nice bloke and isn’t going to start bending the rules. But Warner is different gravy as a thinker on the field, so long as he doesn’t get up to anything nefarious. Too often Williamson’s decisions have left us baffled.
There are other moves of note which punters should be made aware. Bangalore Royal Challengers, the favourites at +450 across the board with green-listed bookmakers, have signed Corey Anderson as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile.
This is not great news for Bangalore backers. Anderson, the Kiwi all-rounder, is bog average and it is a wonder as to how he keeps getting deals in this league. Coulter-Nile, second-highest top wicket-taker last term for Kolkata Knight Riders, is a serious player.
Coulter-Nile has a back problem and it leaves Bangalore short in the all-out pace department. This is an area which has been a consistent problem for them and is the main reason why they have never won the title.
Another back injury has forced another Aussie pacer out of the Mumbai Indians squad. Jason Behrendorff, the Perth Scorcher, makes way. This could be considered a blow at first glance because Behrendorff is a superb player.
But unlike Bangalore, Mumbai have made a shrewd move for a replacement. Mitchell McClenaghan returns to the team for whom he starred for when they twice won the title. Since McClenaghan signed for them in 2015, no one has taken more wickets for Mumbai than him – 54 from 40 innings.
It’s early days but the +400 (William Hill) about Mumbai winning another title looks one of the fairest prices out there at the moment.