IPL 2019: Akash Ambani says franchise fortunate to get two top players at base price

IPL 2019: Akash Ambani says franchise fortunate to get two top players at base price

Ambani also said that the Mumbai Indians management had clear-cut roles for the two senior players.

Mumbai Indians IPL 2017
Mumbai Indians. (Photo: IANS)

An aged tiger is yet a tiger. Former Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians (MI) bought six players in the auction of the 2019 edition held in Jaipur on Wednesday and of them were Yuvraj Singh and Lasith Malinga – two of world cricket’s old and accomplished warriors. While Malinga has played for MI earlier, Yuvraj found his sixth franchise in this auction after almost missing out since he went unsold in the first round of the bidding.

MI owner Akash Ambani, son of tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who was present on the occasion taking key calls on the auctioning, had made it clear earlier that they did not take Yuvraj out of any emotional appeal but that the dashing left-hander is someone they had been eyeing to get on board over the years. While Yuvraj has scored over 2,600 runs in 10 IPL seasons (he missed the 2012 edition), Malinga has over 150 wickets in eight editions that he has played till date. Together, they are expected to make a force even though their combined age is 72.

“Yuvi and Malinga are very critical players. I think we were fortunate to get those two players. To be honest, our think tank was thinking on the basis of experience. We retained a lot of young players that we wanted. Entering this auction, we wanted to buy a few young players, but really focused on experience a lot and both fit the bill very well,” the MI website quoted Ambani as saying over the pick of the two veteran players who have had a number of memorable feats for their respective nations on the international stage.

Roles cut out for two veterans

Ambani also said that the Mumbai Indians management had clear-cut roles for the two senior players and that they were happy to get the men in their respective base price. Malinga, who was recently named the captain for Sri Lanka in limited-over series in New Zealand, had a base price of Rs 2 crore, Yuvraj, who last played for India in 2017, had his base price at Rs 1 crore.

Ambani said they had budgeted a lot more for the two players and described it as a “steal of 12 auctions that Mumbai Indians have had”.

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