Big pay day for Tigers

FOUR Tasmanian Tigers are among the glut of Aussies set to make a financial killing out of this year's Indian Premier League.

A total of 23 Australians are taking part in the seventh running of the world's richest Twenty20 tournament in which eight franchises will fight it out for the $2.3 million first prize.

A break in the national team's schedule has freed up many of Australia's leading players to command huge pay cheques with Launceston duo George Bailey and James Faulkner among the hottest properties.

Faulkner is reported to be reaping $1.7 million with Shane Watson ($2.2 million), Mitchell Johnson ($1.1 million) and Glenn Maxwell ($1.07 million) among the other instant Aussie millionaires.

Faulkner and Watson are among six Aussies at the Rajasthan Royals, the Tasmanian all-rounder being highlighted as one to watch by Cricket Australia yesterday.

``With Michael Bevan set firmly in his sights, James Faulkner is on track to becoming the game's best finisher,'' CA's website reported. ``He did it India last year, at home this summer and even though injury hampered his impact in the World T20, Faulkner is ready to attack IPL7 with both bat and ball.''

News.com.au described the former Launceston player as the team's X-factor.

``Rajasthan have taken a punt by retaining Faulkner on huge dollars this season rather than allowing him to enter the player draft,'' it said. ``His heroics for the Australian limited overs squad are well known. The Royals will be hoping he repeats the dose in the IPL.''

Tigers captain Bailey will lead compatriots Johnson, Maxwell and Shaun Marsh at the Kings XI Punjab, while Ben Hilfenhaus will make $179,000 alongside John Hastings in the pace attack at  Chennai Super Kings. Fresh from leading Australia's unsuccessful tilt at the world T20, Bailey will command a salary of $577,000.

Ben Dunk, player of the tournament in this year's Big Bash with Hobart Hurricanes, was a steal when he joined the Mumbai Indians franchise,  for just $35,700.

The IPL will run from today to June 2. The first 20 games have been moved to the United Arab Emirates given security concerns around the Indian federal election.

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