Mumbai: With each passing year, the auctions for the Indian Premier League (IPL) keep getting bigger and better. Not only owners but also fans are very keen about how their teams perform in the bidding process.
With Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions set to be discontinued from the upcoming edition, the likes of the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ben Stokes and Steve Smith are some of the big names that may be up for grabs to in the 2018 IPL players’’ auction.
However, it is learnt that the Mumbai Indians star Hardik Pandya could also appear in the list.
It is reported that Pandya wants to be part of the auction despite Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians being keen on retaining him. Since his IPL debut, Pandya has emerged a vital cog in Rohit Sharma’s side, leading the franchise to two titles in the past three seasons.
Not only that, the swashbuckling all-rounder’s stock has skyrocketed in international cricket over the past one year. The 23-year-old has impressed in all three formats and will be eyeing another big IPL season.
"Hardik wants to be at the auction and the rule says that if he isn't ready to play for Mumbai Indians, he can certainly be at the auction," a top board official was quoted as saying by The Times of India on Friday.
It is also indicated that Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore could also swoop in for the all-rounder's services.
"Pandya could be the next big thing in the IPL if he is at the auction. After all, the teams will retain big India players like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma," added the report.
In 2013, Pandya was purchased for a bargain price of Rs 10 lakhs. Mumbai Indians increased his fees to Rs 20 lakh three seasons later but purchased his elder brother Krunal for a whopping Rs 2 crore in the same season.
With teams now splashing millions, it is obvious that Pandya would also be like to be included in the star-studded list given his killer abilities.