Nathan Coulter-Nile shaped the ball away from Murali Vijay. He repeated it with added bounce against Virender Sehwag. The Kings XI Punjab batsmen were squared up but were grateful to survive.
The Delhi Daredevils pacer remained wicketless but forced observers to stand up and take note.
Against the Chennai Super Kings on April 9, he gave the Daredevils a platform to cause an upset with a threewicket haul. The Australian, with just three IPL games in his first two seasons, was developing a fan base. When the Daredevils practiced at the MCA Stadium, a group of fans turned up to admire two players — Yuvraj Singh and Coulter-Nile.
By the time he had shaken up the Punjab top order, journalists were making a beeline for him. But had it not been for a crucial decision four years ago, he could have been writing about cricket rather than being written about.
“Back in mid-2011, I was doing work experience (similar but of lesser duration than an internship) with The Sunday Times in Perth,” said CoulterNile. Fresh out of Aquinas College, the-then 23-yearold was just a year into first-class cricket, with his career options open.
“I had no one from my family who had played the game. My dad is an accountant,” the 27-year-old said.
“But it’s been amazing playing the game. It helps me put my little one (daughter) go through school and make sure she’s got a roof over her head.”
But two years ago, Coulter-Nile had just $150 in his bank when he went out for dinner with his Western Australian teammates. What happened by the time the meal was over is why he chose to be a cricketer.
“I went out to get money from the ATM, when the boys started yelling and calling out because the (IPL) auction was on. I had been bought for $450,000 by the Mumbai Indians. I couldn’t believe it. It was life-changing.”