The bidding war on some of Mumbai cricket’s renowned names grabbed the headlines on Saturday (March 3), with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma going under the hammer. Both the international stars put their name forward for the auction of inaugural T20 Mumbai League, scheduled to be held at the Wankhede Stadium from March 11 to 21.
While the Mumbai North franchise secured the services of Rahane for INR 7 lakh, Rohit was roped in by Mumbai North West for INR 6 lakh. Besides the classy duo of Rahane and Rohit, the swashbuckling Shreyas Iyer was bagged by Mumbai North Central for INR 5 lakh. Mumbai North Central also named Iyer as their icon player.
Since Sharma will be leading India in Sri Lanka in a T20I tri-series in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, he is unlikely to take part in the tournament. Both Rahane and Iyer are not part of the India T20I team to Lanka. The Twenty-20 tri-series, involving India, Bangladesh, and the hosts Sri Lanka will start on March 6 and its culmination date is March 18.
Veteran all-rounder Abhishek Nayar was picked by Mumbai South as their icon player for INR 4 lakh, whereas Mumbai’s reliable middle-order batsman Siddhesh Lad went to Mumbai South Central for the same amount.
Prithvi Shaw, who recently led India U-19 side to their record four Youth World Cup titles, was fetched by Mumbai North for INR 2.80 lakh. The 29-year-old pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who has represented India in 12 ODIs and 2 T20Is, was snapped up by Mumbai North East for INR 1.50 lakh.
Among the other well-known players, Suryakumar Yadav went under the hammer for INR 7 lakh. The Mumbai North East franchise won the bid for Yadav and also announced him as their icon player.
As far as the responsibility of coaching is concerned – former India batsman Vinod Kambli will mentor the Mumbai South Central franchise, while India’s only T20 World Cup winning coach Lalchand Rajput will don that role for Mumbai North East side.
The 1983 World Cup-winning team members Sandeep and Balwinder Singh Sandhu have been shouldered with the responsibility to coach the players of Mumbai North team. Mumbai’s batting stalwart Amol Muzumdar will play the same role for Mumbai North West.
The T20 Mumbai League will be governed by Probability Sports Private Limited, a group of Probability Sports and Wizcraft, with the permission and support of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The icon player, mentor and coach of the six franchisees are cited below:
Mumbai North: Icon player Ajinkya Rahane (Rs 7 lakh); mentor Sandeep Patil; coach Balwinder Singh Sandhu
Mumbai North West: Icon player Rohit Sharma (Rs 6 lakh); mentor Amol Muzumdar; coach Omkar Salvi
Mumbai North Central: Icon player Shreyas Iyer (Rs 5 lakh); mentor Sameer Dighe; coach Vinayak Samant
Mumbai South: Icon player Abhishek Nayar (Rs 4 lakh); coach Amit Dani
Mumbai North East: Icon player Suryakumar Yadav (Rs 7 lakh); mentor Lalchand Rajput; coach Atul Ranade.
Mumbai South Central: Icon player Siddhesh Lad (Rs 4 lakh); mentor Vinod Kambli; coach Vinod Raghavan