Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma, who was retained by the franchise for next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, said it was “absolutely heart-breaking” not to be able to hold on to their entire core group of players.
Ahead of the mega auction, the four-time IPL champions retained four cricketers — the maximum allowed to each franchise.
MI dished out a whopping Rs 16 crores to India’s new T20I skipper Rohit. The other three were Jasprit Bumrah (Rs 12 crores), Suryakumar Yadav (Rs 8 crores) and Kieron Pollard (Rs 6 crores). On the other hand, Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Chahar were among the notable players who were released.
The 34-year-old Rohit said releasing “gun-players” of their squad was a hard call.
“As you all know, it was going to be the toughest retention for Mumbai Indians this year. We have had solid players, absolutely gun players in our squad and to release them is absolutely heart-breaking,” Rohit told Star Sports during the IPL retention.
“They have done some amazing work for this franchise, created a lot of memories. So, to let them go was really tough. Four players including myself — hopefully we can form a good core and create a solid team around us,” Rohit said.
With Rs 48 crores left in their kitty, MI will have a chance to buy the released players back during the mega auction ahead of the 15th edition of the tournament.
“The immediate goal is to form a solid team and that will start at the auction. We’ll keep an eye on who we can get, find the right spot for the right players. So yeah, our scouts are doing a fantastic job, watching talents in and outside India. I have faith and belief in them. They have done an amazing job over the years,” Rohit said.
“Hopefully we can find some players that can form a good core,” he added.