Mr Cricket’s great Indian takeaway

Mike Hussey during the recent Big Bash T20 season.
Mike Hussey during the recent Big Bash T20 season.

His eyes widen and he scoffs with a nod of the head as if to say, ‘It’s a lot of money isn’t it?’

Hussey, a proud Wanneroo cricketer, knows how fortunate he is to still be playing the game he loves at 38 and earning almost $900,000 for his trouble.

He may be in the twilight of his career, but his value in IPL7 is almost triple that of IPL1, when he signed with the Chennai Super Kings for $265,000 ($298,000 in 2014 dollars) in 2008.

Not bad for a professional athlete who turns 40 next year.

It’s a combination of Hussey’s unyielding commitment to his craft and the IPL’s outlandish nature that has him suiting up at about $150,000 a week when the six-week season opens on April 16.

In terms of Australian cricketers, only David Warner ($978,000), Glenn Maxwell ($1.07 million) and Mitchell Johnson ($1.15 million) earned more from the 2014 IPL auction.

But despite the riches on offer, the league’s leading run scorer of 2013 is adamant it’s not about the money.

It’s a clich´┐Ż, sure, but one that carries an air of sincerity coming from a man nicknamed Mr Cricket.

‘It’s a bit of a lottery in India; there’s some great players who missed out all together,’ he says.

‘I feel like I’ve been quite lucky, but I don’t really think about the money side of things.

‘It’s more the opportunity to go there and play with players from all around the world.

‘You get to watch how Indian players prepare for games and players from different countries.

‘(You) get to know the different cultures, so that’s what I really enjoy about the IPL most of all.

‘Plus, the crowds are just phenomenal.’

The 79-Test champion is one of just four Australians, with Shane Watson, Brad Hodge and Shaun Marsh, who, this year, will have played in every IPL tournament since it began six years ago.

And while recent hype around league corruption could be a distraction, Hussey’s only concern is with immersing himself in a new team environment at Mumbai, having been with Chennai for six seasons.

He joins the likes of Indian tweaker Harbhajan Singh, big-hitting West Indian Kieron Polland and Sri Lankan slinger Salith Malinga at the Indians.

‘I just want to get over there really, get around the team’