Why Cameron White is worth more than Ricky Ponting

“Lack of professional expertise in managing a sporting franchise of this magnitude seems to be a glaring gap, especially as a lot of these teams are led by what we call ‘casual but rich fans’ who are assuming their team will be in the top three.”

– Anirban Das Blah, VP Globosport India, from the 3.3.08 edition of Outlook magazine

Today, Victoria were narrow losers in the final of the Australian domestic one-day competition, which this year is sponsored by an automobile with a big carbon footprint. Bowled out for 158 at Bellerive Oval, they lost by one wicket when Tasmania reached a Duckworth-Lewissed target of 131.

Cameron White is the captain of Victoria. Today, White did not bowl. Earlier, he was out first ball, caught by Travis Birt off the bowling of Brad Geeves.

White has played fifteen one-day internationals, the last of those almost precisely twelve months ago. He has played one T20 for Australia.

In Wednesday’s Mumbai Meat Market, White (otherwise known as Lot 45) was sold to the Bangalore IPL franchise for $500,000, five times his reserve price. His sale price was more than that of Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey or Simon Katich.

While there were plenty of wild and disproportionate purchases on Wednesday, White’s half-million might not be as crazy as it sounds.

Consider these factors:

  • White is highly unlikely to be selected for the Australian tour of Pakistan in April and May (if indeed it goes ahead);
  • White is, at this stage, without a county for the 2008 English season, Somerset’s one overseas player spot going to Justin Langer;
  • Victoria has won all three seasons to date of the KFC T20 Big Bash. White has been captain of Victoria throughout, although he missed the 2007 final due to Australian selection;
  • White holds the current world record for the highest individual score in a T20 innings – 141* in 70 balls, Somerset v Worcestershire, 2006. (Though it should be noted that Somerset went on to lose.)

Maybe it’s just coincidence, or maybe it indicates that White is in fact worth more?

Let the IPL unfold. (Or maybe unravel.)

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