IPL 2017 March 17, 2017

Mills stays level-headed as IPL venture nears


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How the bidding war for Tymal Mills unfolded

Tymal Mills says that he will not believe he is a newly-minted IPL millionaire until his £1.4 million fee from Royal Challengers Bangalore has landed in his account, but insists that his new-found status will not change his outlook on the game.

Mills' rags-to-riches tale was one of the outstanding stories of this year's IPL auction, as the player who feared, two years ago, that he may never play cricket again after being diagnosed with a congenital back condition was instead catapulted towards T20 stardom.

Now, with the IPL leg of his freelance T20 career set to get underway in the coming weeks, Mills has spent his short period of downtime since the end of the Pakistan Super League among his team-mates at Sussex, the club that he insists is very much his home despite his itinerant nature. He currently lives in a flat-share in Brighton, but says he plans on putting down long-term roots in the city.

"I need to buy a house and that will be the first thing," he said. "Buy a house outright, so I don't have to worry about a mortgage, just have to pay my bills, so if all else fails, that sets you up for the rest of your life.

"It's not real yet, not until it goes into my account and I get paid. I've had to make arrangements to receive that money, I've never come into that type of money before so I've got a financial advisor sorted and spoke to my accountant, and set up my bank account accordingly.

"It is a massive amount of money but I've not actually thought about it as it's not real until it's real, as such.

""It is going to be tough, playing half my games at Bangalore, you've got to temper your expectations and what is going to be a good day there isn't always going to be a good day somewhere else"

"I've mentioned a few times I don't have any money yet, but there are a few standard jokes - 'T will get it'- but everyone's been brilliant and really happy for me. They know the journey I have been on and, when the T20 Blast starts again in July, I'll be fully committed to play for Sussex."

Another key beneficiary of Mills' new fortune will undoubtedly be his mother, Louise, whom he used to help out by working on a fruit stall at 6 o'clock in the morning before going to school in Suffolk.

"She won't take anything off me at the moment, but she's great, my mum, and she'll get looked after definitely," he said.

Mills knows that his price tag will bring with it a considerable degree of scrutiny when his IPL stint gets underway, but he is phlegmatic enough to realise that it is "a batsman's game" and that there will be some days that go his way, and some that undoubtedly will not.

"With the price tag I've been bought for, there will be a level of expectation and I'm aware of that, but I'm just going to go out there and do what I've done and do what has got me this far," he said.

"It is going to be tough, playing half my games at Bangalore, you've got to temper your expectations and what is going to be a good day there isn't always going to be a good day somewhere else."

Mills nearly had to give up on a career in cricket after being diagnosed with a congenital back condition two years ago © Getty Images

Besides, nothing that Mills encounters in the coming months will come close to matching the fear and anxiety he felt when his back condition was first diagnosed and he was faced with the possible ending of his career before it had truly begun.

"Being a 22-year-old, to hear those words and to have that option was hard to hear," he said. "It hit me hard. Some of the tests I had, to rule out other things, weren't nice to have.

"But I'm glad I took the option to continue playing, to give T20 a crack. It's been an up and down couple of years, a journey that has culminated with getting this recognition in the IPL. It's a really exciting time and I'm looking forward to getting out there."

Tymal Mills was speaking at a Yorkshire Tea and Chance to Shine event to launch the search for the country's best Junior Journalists. To find out more and to enter go to https://www.chancetoshine.org/juniorjourno/junior-journalist-competition

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Sunami Jee on March 21, 2017, 4:33 GMT

    Every team has 14 matches very long and boring league Psl is more interesting then ipl

  • Adam on March 19, 2017, 21:47 GMT

    The IPL will go the same way it does every year, all the build up and excitement beforehand and then no one is interested after 3 or 4 games. The first IPL was by far the best. Really happy for Mills, we all know hes not worth that much, but good luck to him.

  • NARASIMHA on March 19, 2017, 1:43 GMT

    @MEHR-Your pride on PSL is understandable. However, PSL isn't the benchmark or the standards that IPL relies on to make it's decisions. If anything we have learnt about IPL in the last 9 years, it is that the player's utility/ability not the reputation that matters the most. Greatest bowlers & batters of this time have suffered and have gone listless by their performance in the IPL. As someone mentioned below, it's his performance in India during the last India vs England series that impressed the IPL teams the most. He was rewarded just for that! PSL had nothing do with it.

  • Danny on March 18, 2017, 15:10 GMT

    He sounds like a really genuine bloke. I was surprised the fee but you have to be delighted for him.

    Sounds like he is looking to use his luck wisely too, which only increases my respect for him

  • Nish on March 18, 2017, 14:50 GMT

    @MEHR With due respect, not as it every overseas player in the PSL - even the ones who did well - have been chosen by an IPL franchise! Rather than his performances in the PSL however well or poorly he did, it is more likely what he did in the recent India-England T20 series that must caught the eye of the management of franchises like RCB who were clearly looking for a replacement for Mitchell Starc.

  • Mehr Alishba on March 18, 2017, 12:20 GMT

    MILLS have the blessings that emit due playing in PSL and the confidence he got build as T20 international player. In fact his selection with Royal Challengers is the prove of PSL success as well some serious bounty for the player in IPL. I recall few people were criticizing PSL recently with players like MIlls in franchises and now you cannot stop laughing to see same players offered 1 million dollar plus in IPL franchising.

  • CricMystique on March 18, 2017, 11:14 GMT

    Geez....shows that the guy is down to earth, has good values...and if he is fighting back from a medical condition - he gets my thumbs up as well....wishing him all the v best from an indian fan, he looks to be the sort playing because he loves it , wish the people commenting negatively on his windfall just get a life.....am happy an everyday bloke got it....go mills....all the v best from india

  • vinayt1159881 on March 18, 2017, 7:34 GMT

    Wish u all the best Tymal Mills.... Hope u play well and help RCB to win ipl trophy this year.... A really good addition to RCB..... Saw ur bowling in d ind vs ENG t20 series u were just awesome.....

  • Sammy K on March 18, 2017, 3:17 GMT

    He is a good bloke to think of his mom at a time like this. Good things happen to good people and Mills is a very nice and decent guy. Best of luck buddy. U deserve the best.

  • David on March 17, 2017, 23:52 GMT

    The thing about the £1.4m is that after tax, and agents and managers percentages, it'll be a lot less. $750k perhaps? Buy a house outright in Brighton (not a cheap neck of the woods BTW), and there'll still be some left over to invest/live on, certainly, and for sure better than what cricketers could expect 25 years ago. Glad for him... surprised by the vehement put-downs.... none of us have lost anything by his good fortune, and those bidding on him were not entirely ignorant of the IPL market, which has something at least to do with marquee value of players. The press on him before the India/England T20s won't have hurt.. very good timing for him... much of it is about publicity to keep the excitement high. Just the same as in any other form of entertainment.

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