Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori

Why MI Releases Hardik Pandya: Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori claims that MI might not interested in releasing Hardik but the retention policy might have pushed Hardik out of Mumbai Indians.

Vettori also feels that KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya might play for the same franchise in the upcoming IPL 2022.

Why MI Releases Hardik Pandya

Notably, both of the players have been released by their respective franchises, and also the addition of 2 new IPL teams will increase their probability of playing under the same franchise.

Recently, Mumbai Indians (MI) retained their skipper Rohit Sharma (INR 16 crores), Jasprit Bumrah (INR 12 crores), Suryakumar Yadav (INR 8 crores), and Kieron Pollard (INR 6 crores) for the next three years.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

In a conversation with ESPNCricinfo, Vettori said, “It’s simply about money, it has to be. There’s no way that Mumbai [Indians] didn’t want Hardik Pandya, every franchise wants him. But they would have only been able to offer him that third spot because and Bumrah and Rohit rightly take up those two slots.” 

He added, “So unfortunately for Mumbai, they are the product of their own success. And this was Venky’s point when we were discussing with him that you develop players and you get them to a point where they are critical to a franchise but then it’s incredibly difficult to hold onto them.”

Pointing out the fact that KL Rahul was also released by the Punjab Kings franchise, Vettori suggested that there might be some kind of alliance between the two players as they are very close. There’s a slight chance Rahul and Pandya wish to play together.

Hardik Pandya and  KL Rahul
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul

Vettori said, “I am sure that Hardik Pandya would have been a top priority but they just couldn’t fit him in. He probably feels like he has developed himself and there may be alliances forming. That may be a factor as well. KL and Hardik are extremely close so there may be an opportunity for them to all join up with luck now.”

He added, “All these things in the background may be happening at the moment and we will only find out in the coming days and weeks if it comes to fruition. I think there are a lot of players trying to play together.” 

The IPL 2022 Mega Auction is expected to host in India during the first week of January 2022.