THE leadership skills of Tasmanian cricket is being felt in this year's Indian Premier League, with George Bailey's Kings IX Punjab sitting top of the table heading into last night's match in the Twenty20 tournament.
Bailey, who has added the captaincy of the franchise to his Australian, Tasmanian and Hobart Hurricanes duties, has scored only 54 runs in four innings, two of them undefeated, at an average of 27 and a strike-rate of 110.
But his innings against Bangalore (17 not out) and Chennai (16 not out) helped guide Punjab home in a batting line-up that also features power-hitter Glenn Maxwell, with the franchise undefeated after five matches.
But the Tiger and Hurricane that has had the most on-field impact has been paceman Ben Hilfenhaus, who has collected six wickets in his four matches for Chennai at an average of 18.66 and an economy rate of eight.
The 31-year-old, who recently lost his Cricket Australia contract, can lay claim to the ball of the tournament, after bowling Mike Hussey with the perfect outswinger against the Mumbai Indians.
Launceston's James Faulkner has played three games for Rajasthan, taking two wickets, but managing just the 20 runs.
Ben Dunk, the Big Bash player of the year after his explosive work with the bat for the Hurricanes, has failed to get a game yet for Mumbai Indians.
The quartet are among 23 Australians taking part in the high-paying tournament, which is being played in the UAE and India until June 2.
Faulkner is leading the Tasmanians when it comes to the financial component of the series, reportedly on a $1.7 million contract, with Bailey on $577,000, Hilfenhaus on $179,000 and Dunk on $35,700.
Faulkner's Royals were in action overnight against Kolkata, which has former Tasmanian representative Ryan ten Doeschate in its squad.