Cricket

Chris Morris says IPL record signing 'came as a very big surprise', natural to have bit of added pressure

Chirs Morrris was acquired by Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 auction for a record-breaking Rs 16.25 crore.

Chris Morris says IPL record signing 'came as a very big surprise', natural to have bit of added pressure

Chris Morris fetched a bid of Rs 16.25 crore from Rajasthan Royals at 2021 auction. Image: Sportzpics for BCCI

Cricket multi-millionaire Chris Morris said on Thursday said that his IPL record signing "came as a very big surprise".

Morris, 33, will play for the Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 Indian Premier League after the franchise bought him for US$2.2-million (Rs 16.25 crore), an IPL auction record.

His projected fee will take him past $8-million in earnings from the IPL alone.

After being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, he wasn't even sure that another franchise would want his brand of aggressive batting, fast bowling and agile fielding.

"I don't think anyone in the cricket fraternity thought cricket would ever pay this well. In the past cricket couldn't set you up for the rest of your life.

"It's the way business is going, the way sport is going, especially in the pandemic.

"I think a lot of people are looking for sport as a way to escape. Sportsmen have a responsibility to provide as much entertainment as we can."

Morris said he looked forward to returning to the Royals, a team he played for 2015. He said earning a big fee would not change his approach to playing.

"The auction is out of our control," he said.

"It's an absolute lottery. At the end of the day I've got to do what I have been doing over the last couple of years.

"There will be a little bit of added pressure, that's natural. But I'm fortunate enough to have been part of this franchise before and I know what I'm getting into.”

The tall all-rounder has also played T20 cricket in Australia’s Big Bash League, South Africa’s Mzansi Super League and for two English counties. Surprisingly, though, his appearances for South Africa in international cricket have been sporadic.

He said during a press conference in Durban, where he is playing in a domestic T20 tournament, that there had been no contact with his home country’s selectors since he was picked as a late replacement for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

And he remains reticent about whether he would be available to play for South Africa in the T20 World Cup in India later this year.

"That's a difficult question," he said. "If that conversation comes, it comes."

With AFP inputs

Updated Date: February 25, 2021 20:22:12 IST

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