Hardik Pandya has expressed his desire to quit team Mumbai Indians ahead of the 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Baroda all-rounder has informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about his willingness to be part of the auction pool next year, according to the Times of India.
Pandya’s stock has risen rapidly in international cricket in recent times and is seen as a quintessential limited-overs impact player, was signed by the Mumbai Indians (MI) for a measly Rs 10 lakh two seasons ago.
Following his India debut, MI hiked Hardik’s fees to Rs 20 lakh for the 2016 season but ironically his elder brother Krunal Pandya was bought by MI for Rs 2 crore. It is obvious the younger Pandya would like to set the record straight.
“Hardik wants to be at the auction and the rule says that if he isn’t ready to play for Mumbai Indians, he can certainly be at the auction,” a BCCI official said, as quoted by the news report.
Depending on the retention policy which will be framed by the IPL governing council, Mumbai franchise may still opt for Hardik as their second player after Rohit Sharma. The defending champions could also compensate Hardik if such an eventuality comes to pass. But other teams appear equally ready to spend big money on the all-rounder.
RCB keen on signing Hardik
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who are led by Team India captain Virat Kohli, are interested in adding Hardik to their squad, according to the reports.
Given the Bangalore-based franchise’s history of splashing the big cash at the auction, RCB might as well break previous records if they are to sign Hardik, who is considered next only to Kohli and MS Dhoni in terms of market value.