'We will miss you in blue' - Twitter after Mumbai Indians release Hardik Pandya ahead of IPL 2022 mega auction

‘We will miss you in blue’ – Twitter after Mumbai Indians release Hardik Pandya ahead of IPL 2022 mega auction

Mumbai Indians retained four players, but there was no place for either one of the Pandya brothers.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Hardik Pandya’s association with the Mumbai Indians came to an end on November 30, as the franchise opted against retaining him ahead of the mega auction before IPL 2022. Pandya had an off-season with the team in 2021, when he could score only 127 runs from 12 games at a pale average of 14.11 and an uncharacteristic strike rate of 113.39.

Owing to his back injury, Pandya has not been able to perform all-round duties for the team in the last two seasons, having been included as a pure batter. The 28-year-old, who was one of the three players retained by the franchise before the 2018 mega actions, last bowled in the tournament before his back surgery in 2019.

Pandya made his IPL debut with the Mumbai Indians in 2015 and has played all his 92 IPL games with them, scoring 1476 runs at a strike rate of 153.91 apart from picking 42 wickets. Also not retained was the senior of the Pandya brothers, Krunal, who did not have much business in the 2021 edition himself.

Much like his younger brother, Krunal, did not have a memorable last season, as he averaged a poor 14.30 and struck at 116.26, scoring 143 runs in 13 fixtures. With the ball, Krunal proved handy on a couple of occasions, bowling in the powerplay, but his overall tally of five wickets at 53 did not give a good reading.

Both Pandyas will now be available for the two new franchises, who have a December 1-25 window to select a maximum of three non-retained players – not more than two Indian players and not more than one overseas player – before the mega auction, which is likely to be held in last week of December or early January. If not picked by either of the two new teams, they will go into the auction pool.

As for Mumbai Indians’ retentions, the Reliance Industries-owned franchise exhausted the retention cap by securing four players: skipper Rohit for INR 16 crores Sharma in the first slot, pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the second for INR 12 crores, middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav in the third for INR 8 crores and Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard for INR 6 crore in the fourth and final slot. The team has INR 48 crores left to be utilised at the mega auction.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: