The 2020 IPL auctions were a min-bidding affair with all the teams aiming to plug in the holes that exist in their squads before the mega-auctions take place next winter. And, it happened that way, with the established teams like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings making only a few subtle changes to their already strong squads. Before the auctions, the franchises had released as well as trade a plethora of players, who they thought didn’t fit into their set-up anymore.
Releasing any player has got to be one of the most difficult tasks for the franchise owners. With years of association with a particular player, the franchises tend to develop a bond with the cricketers and it’s never easy when you have part ways with them. But, at the end of the day, the IPL is a business where high stakes are involved and sometimes for the overall betterment of the franchise, the owners have to let go of players.
Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani conceded the same. Speaking to the media after the Indian Premier League auctions, Ambani admitted that letting go of players was probably the most difficult part ahead of the marquee auctions on Thursday.
Mumbai Indians released as many as 12 players and retained 18 from the squad that had propelled them to a record fourth IPL title win last season. Among the players that were released were West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, Jason Behrenorff, Beuran Hendricks and all-rounder Ben Cutting.
Mumbai Indians bolstered their squad with the addition of Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile
The defending champions also traded-in New Zealand’s fast bowling spearhead Trent Boult, West Indian tearaway batsman Sherfane Rutherford and Mumbai fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni.
“It’s the most difficult part of IPL, especially as last year we were champions. We took some decisions, injuries were a big concern. We left and traded out 12 players this season, that’s the most that MI has ever done in the last 5-6 years. But they were the toughest decisions,” Ambani told reporters at the media conference in-between the auction.
Mumbai Indians already had a fearsome squad ahead of the auctions and all they needed to do a bit of tinkering and plug a few holes. And, they did that brilliantly. The four-time champions got an absolute steal when they racked up Chris Lynn at his base price while they also proceeded to get an able backup seam bowling option in the form of Nathan Coulter-Nile for a whopping sum of Rs 8 Crore. Saurabh Tiwary is also set to make a return to there Mumbai set-up, who was racked up at his base price of Rs 20 Lakh
“We had identified the seven slots that we wanted to fill. It was very critical for us to get Lynn and Coulter-Nile. Saurabh has been with us. We are happy with our buys,” Ambani added.
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