Tragic catalyst for spurning baggy green
CHRIS Lynn was once hopeful of following David Warner's lead and going from T20 slugger to Test star, but that's no longer the case.
The Brisbane Heat six-hitting machine has carved out a niche for himself in the game's shortest format and any hope of a career in the whites has all but disappeared.
That's fine by Lynn, who was bought by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $1.86 million in last weekend's auction.
Serious shoulder injuries have limited Lynn's appearances on the park in recent seasons and last year he passed on the opportunity to receive a contract with state side Queensland because he knew he wasn't going to be available in all formats.
The 27-year-old has plans to continue his career as a T20 gun for hire, saying money - not a baggy green - is more appealing to him.
It's a decision Lynn says he arrived at following the death of "best mate" Phil Hughes.
"I want to play T20 cricket in Bangladesh, the Caribbean, India, Dubai, around the world," Lynn told The Triple M Rush Hour with Mark Geyer on Monday.
"Ever since my best mate Phil Hughes passed away, it's, 'What do you want out of life?' I ask myself that every day. Does it make be a better person if I've got that baggy green on the wall? That's up to anyone's opinion really.
"It doesn't matter if you earn one million bucks, 500 bucks. My old man never earned over $100,000 annually when I was growing up so what do you want out of life?
"I'm really comfortable with the decision I have made playing T20 cricket and I get to see my family more, I get to see my mates more and to me that's more important."
Lynn has played 41 first class games since his debut in 2010 and made his ODI debut for Australia in January last year. Although he still has plenty of offer in the 50-over format, his focus is firmly on the 20-over game where he's become one of the most feared batsmen in the world.
"I actually gave that (Queensland contract) back to pursue T20 cricket," Lynn said. "I still had two years on my contract and they were going to keep it and just say, 'No we value your spot in one day cricket,' which I was always going to play for the Bulls.
"I said, 'No, no, I'll give it back. Use that money on a young kid coming through who desires to play Test match cricket.' A young bloke deserves that opportunity. He can train everyday, I'm going to be overseas."
Plenty of other cricketers - like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo - have become T20 freelancers, and the money on offer means that will become a lure for many more. When Glenn Maxwell was left out of Australia's one-day team to play England, there was discussion about whether he - feeling slighted by another rejection - would give up his national ambitions and take the same path.
While Maxwell mentioned it might be something to consider at some stage, he said he was firmly committed to playing for Australia and harboured a burning desire to be a permanent fixture in the green and gold in all formats.
That attitude will please chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, who on Tuesday urged players to value the baggy green over any T20 riches on offer.
"We want our players to really want to play for Australia and be hungry," Hohns told Gerard Whateley on SEN's Whateley.
"I can't guarantee they are all like that and I can't guarantee you that there is any that have that attitude that they're happy to go and collect the dollars.
"It is an interesting one that is happening all around the world. As we are seeing, there's more and more money becoming available in these T20 tournaments everywhere.
"We just hope, and we want to encourage our players to really be hungry and want to play for Australia.
"All we can do is talk to them and encourage them to understand that they're important for their country and we can't do too much more than that."