Cricket: Blackcaps star Kyle Jamieson surreal IPL auction day experience

By Clay Wilson for RNZ

For most, dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire are just that but not for New Zealand cricket's fastest rising star Kyle Jamieson.

Still with just 12 international matches to his name, the Blackcaps breakout star of the past 12 months was set to be $2.86 million richer after a stunning result at the Indian Premier League player auction.

Several hours of sleep after the auction in the early hours of Friday morning, the 26-year-old was still coming to grips with surreal nature of the situation.

"It is kind of a weird thing to have an amount of money attached to yourself," Jamieson says. "I haven't woken up and my bank account hasn't changed overnight. It's just this intangible thing around the money.

"Yeah, it's certainly a different experience."

The figure - bid by Royal Challengers Bangalore, with former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson pulling the strings as director of cricket - was easily the highest paid for a Kiwi at the annual auction.

It was also the fourth highest for a player in IPL history.

Staggering for a 26-year-old who only made his international debut a year ago.

Jamieson admitted he not only woke up to watch, but was left speechless when calling his partner to share the good news.

"I woke her up as she was asleep and it was a pretty cool moment to just kind of sit back and there wasn't a whole lot of words spoken, to be fair," he says. "I then called mum and dad, they were up as well.

"I did that and then just turned the phone off and tried to get to sleep."

Not easy after learning about an eye-popping pay-day, which dwarfed his annual Blackcaps retainer of between $100,000 and $150,000.

It was a reward which hadn't come without hard times, Jamieson playing six seasons of domestic cricket and battling back from mental health struggles before finally breaking into the Black Caps.

Bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said the Auckland seamer deserved every dollar.

"What you see in the news, that's a small part of all the work that goes in behind the scenes," Jurgensen says. "There's a lot of times when we're training in the depths of winter, in a marquee or in a cold gym. It makes it all worthwhile."

Jamieson wasn't the only New Zealand pace bowler whose bank account was set for a significant boost.

Adam Milne celebrates the wicket of Gunathilaka, January 2016
Adam Milne celebrates the wicket of Gunathilaka, January 2016 Photo credit: Photosport

Having yet again fought back from injury struggles, Adam Milne was bought by defending champions Mumbai for $610,000.

The Central Districts quick said Jamieson earning more than three times that was proof of more than just his Auckland rival's abilities.

"I'm sure it's an amazing feeling for Kyle, and very surreal," Milne says. "It probably shows the level of cricket that New Zealand is playing at the moment.

"We're in the test championship final and when you look at the players amongst that side, we're starting to build some real world beaters."

World class team-mates would also be around Jamieson when he joined his IPL side in early April.

Bangalore's squad included the likes of Indian captain Virat Kohli, South African whizz AB de Villiers and Australian star Glenn Maxwell.

A prospect Jamieson said was equally as appealing as the big pay-day.

"I'm so fortunate to go to a team with superstars of the game like them," he says. "They've had success for such a long period of time those guys and just to rub shoulders with them and try and learn and grow as a cricketer is going to be something that I'm certainly going to relish."

For now, though, Jamieson was just wrapping his head around his new found riches.

And - with the New Zealand squad back together ahead of Monday's first T20 against Australia in Christchurch - getting ready for the inevitable ribbing from his Blackcaps team-mates.

"Yeah, look, my bank account hasn't changed overnight but there'll be a little bit of stick given and a few coffees and a few beers, I'm sure."

A small price to pay, for someone set for such a lofty pay cheque.