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Simmons fairytale could hit jackpot
Simmons fairytale could hit jackpot

The Craig Simmons fairytale could have a happy ending over the next two days when the surprise star of the successful Perth Scorchers campaign learns whether any of the eight Indian Premier League franchises has secured his brutal blade.

Simmons is one of 59 Australians to enter an IPL auction that could make millionaires of unheralded players and further swell the bank balances of the game's biggest names.

The left-hander has about a one in four chance of being selected given that about 56 international places will be filled from 210 non-Indian players who have nominated for the auction.

Simmons is quietly confident, particularly after his century in the Big Bash League semifinal against international pacemen Brett Lee, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, but has a realistic view of his chances.

He has a reserve figure of $53,000 but is listed at No.453 on the auction catalogue, meaning his name will not be called until late on the second day of the auction.

His position as the 202nd international player means that all spots could be filled by the time that happens.

Nine other West Australians have nominated, including Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Marsh, who have reserves of $355,000.

"I will just wait and see what happens and, to be honest, I am just keen to get the whole thing out of the way," Simmons said.

"It is pretty funny. I never thought I would ever play cricket for WA again and would have been happy to see out my career at Rockingham-Mandurah but the last few weeks have changed things.

"Four weeks ago I would never have dreamt that my name would be linked to the IPL, let alone all the things that have happened."

Simmons, who is completing a Western Power apprenticeship at Waroona, believes his greatest prospect of cricket advancement will come at the end of the year when he could take part in the Champion's League and Big Bash, as well as play one-dayers for the Warriors.

He was a top-up player for the Scorchers but was elevated to the top of a revamped batting line-up when Liam Davis withdrew with a severe finger injury and Adam Voges suffered shoulder damage.

Simmons played for match payments of about $2000 a game but will receive a bigger windfall later in the year when he shares in at least $400,000 to be distributed to the Perth players from the Champions League.

"Next season will be the big season for me because I could take part in the three competitions," he said.

"IPL is out of my hands but I have had some very positive feedback from JL (WA and Scorchers coach Justin Langer) and I am keen to have a go.

"The feel in this group is easily the best of any team in my decade with WA and you can see there will be more success."

Simmons said Western Power had been very positive about his potential IPL involvement and may be willing to offer him leave with pay or suspend his apprenticeship to allow him to follow his cricket path.

He was adamant that getting a full-time job had helped his career and urged the younger members of the WA squad to ensure they had something to fill their hours away from cricket.

"When you are young you think it is going to last forever," he said. "The best thing I did for my cricket was to get a job."