Hat-trick hero Nathan Ellis bags IPL contract

Nathan punches the air.

Aryan Surana

Punjab Kings have signed Nathan Ellis, the Australian paceman who shot to limelight after his hat-trick on T20I debut against Bangladesh. It capped off a dizzying 24 hours for Ellis, who earlier in the day was named as one of three Australian reserve players for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will follow the IPL. Ellis has also been a revelation since breaking into the Tasmanian set-up in 2019 having been overlooked for an opportunity in his home state of NSW.

The decision comes in the wake of two of the Kings' Australian imports – Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith being ruled out for the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League 2021. It is learnt by Cricket Australia that Ellis was being scouted by three IPL franchises for the cash-rich league before agreeing to terms with Punjab Kings on Thursday night.

"Dream debut" is a term bandied around often in cricketing parlance, but Nathan Ellis indisputably cherished one as he became the only player to bag a hat-trick on his maiden T20I appearance. The victims en route to his record-setting feat in the final three deliveries of the 20th over were Mahmudullah, Mustafizur Rahman and Mahedi Hasan. Ellis was added to Australia's main squad for the third T20I after Riley Meredith sustained an injury.

Ellis, who went unsold at the initial player auction in January, is supposed to be among the several international replacements after a handful of contracted players declined to partake in the latter half of the competition.