He is almost two years retired from the international game, but Brendon McCullum topped the bidding for New Zealand players at the Indian Premier League cricket auction tonight in Bengaluru.
The former New Zealand captain was sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $770,000.
The Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils helped push his bidding value up from a reserve of $428,000 before the hammer came down.
Former teammate Dan Vettori will be his coach, just as he is with the Brisbane Heat in Australia's Big Bash League and at Middlesex in England's T20 Blast.
Overall it was a mixture of success and disappointment for the eight New Zealanders involved at the time of writing.
McCullum, Kane Williamson, Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro were selected by franchises; Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ish Sodhi missed out.
Perhaps Sodhi, the world's No.1 T20 international bowler, was the biggest surprise. He was joint top of the wicket-taking charts at the 2016 World T20 in India with 10, then took 6-11 for the Adelaide Strikers against the Sydney Thunder last January in the Big Bash League. In eight T20Is on the subcontinent he has taken 15 wickets at an economy rate of 6.50 and strike rate of 12. He could still get snaffled at the back end of the auction.
Kane Williamson returned to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, his original franchise, despite Vettori's RCB showing interest.
Williamson's reserve was $321,000 but, as the bidding paddles duelled, his value doubled to $641,000.
When the franchise first picked him up he was valued at $121,000 so his worth has increased more than five-fold in three years.
Colin de Grandhomme went from a reserve of $160,000 to get selected by RCB for $470,000 after the Sunrisers showed an interest.
Colin Munro's night started with the Mumbai Indians seeking to pick him up at his $107,000 reserve, before Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals pushed his price to $406,000. Delhi got him in the end.
Each of the selected quartet was fortunate at least two franchises competed to boost their price.
Their results will also please New Zealand Cricket. The more players snapped up to play in the IPL window at the world's most lucrative Twenty20 tournament, the less will want to partake in other leagues conflicting with New Zealand playing commitments. The benefits of the Super Smash being shown in India for the first time this season might have paid some dividends.
However, the players do not get the whole amount of cash from their sale.
1. A pro-rata figure if players are available but not selected for each game.
2. If players are injured during the tournament, salaries can be reduced from the original figure.
3. Players must be available for promotional appearances. If they fail to appear they are deducted a further percentage of their salary.
Those who missed out will be left to dwell on the fickle nature of the process. Guptill had a relatively low reserve of $160,000 and previous stints with Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. The perception he struggles against spin in the subcontinent continues to shadow him. In 67 T20I innings, Guptill averages 32.56 at a strike rate of 130; in the 21 of those that occurred on the subcontinent he averages 20.52 at a strike rate of 113.
McClenaghan had a tough outing for the Thunder versus Renegades in the BBL, but was the fourth highest wicket-taker last IPL on $61,000 at Mumbai. That made him one of the best players for rupees spent.
Southee has been a regular on the IPL circuit for years but, on this occasion, it was to no avail.
IPL Team rosters
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Sarfaraz Khan, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra (UC), Kulwant Khejroliya (UC), Nandeep Saini
Kolkata Knight Riders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc, Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill (UC), Ishank Jaggi (UC), Ntish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Aniket Choudhary
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Ryudu, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma,
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Surya Kumar (UC), Ishan Kishan
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan
Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammad Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw (UC), Harshal Patel (UC), Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Avesh Khan
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi (UC), Jofra Archer (UC), D'Arcy Short (UC)
Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, David Miller, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Agarwal (UC), Ankit Singh Rajpoot,
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission