Indian Premier League 2012 February 27, 2012

Mumbai Indians snap up much-wanted Levi


Mumbai Indians have signed Richard Levi, the much-wanted South Africa batsman who recently hit the fastest Twenty20 international hundred, as a replacement for allrounder Andrew Symonds. Levi, who went unsold in the IPL player auction on February 4, had been contacted by various IPL franchises following his record-breaking century in the second Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Hamilton. Symonds, the former Australia allrounder, retired from professional cricket, citing family reasons, earlier this month.

Levi announced his arrival on the international stage in only his second T20I. Opening the innings in South Africa's chase of 174 against New Zealand, he smashed 13 sixes - a record - in an unbeaten 117 off 51 balls. His century came off just 45 balls. Prior to that knock, Levi had spent four seasons with South African franchise Cape Cobras, impressing in the domestic limited-overs competitions and the 2011-12 Champions League.

Levi said he was excited to join Mumbai Indians because he would have the opportunity to play alongside his hero Sachin Tendulkar. "I have heard from friends that Mumbai Indians is like an extended family where the team shares a great bond and trusts youngsters," he said. "Sachin Tendulkar has been my childhood hero and it would be exciting to share the dressing room with him."

Mumbai Indians started the last IPL season with Tendulkar opening alongside Davy Jacobs, the South African wicketkeeper-batsman. Jacobs, though, has had problems with injuries and has not played professional cricket since last year's Champions League due to a recurring hip problem. Mumbai Indians have had to try different opening combinations, with Aiden Blizzard, Sarul Kanwar and James Franklin all getting opportunities at the top of the order. Levi could bring solidity to the position if he cements his place.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • soumyas on March 1, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    why the hell mumbai buys all the good players and keeps them on bench, they know that they cannot play more than 4 foreign players, still they buy them and keep them on bench, instead these players themselves join other weaker teams to get chance to show their talents and make tournament interesting..

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Yes MUMBAI..this time its gonna be awsome.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    from all teams in ipl......only MI is giving more chances to youngsters.... 1. Levi 2. Rayudu 3. Rohit 4. karthik 5. Pollard 6. Ojha 7. RP 8. perara

    look at rcb!! they r da ones who has gone for the stars..not MI

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Valuable foreigners for MI: Levi, Pollard, Malinga, Franklin, Perara, Gibbs How come u ppl say MI has lot of players so that those players wont play against them??? they hv a decent foreign squad.....not so filled with stars but youngsters..... Best combination for MI: 1. Sachin Tendulkar 2. Richard Levi 3. Ambati Rayudu 4. Dinesh Karthik as starters.. Finishers:- 5. Rohit Sharma 6. Kieron Pollard 7. Thisara Perara 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Lasith Malinga 10. Ojha 11. RP/Munaf

    Great Squad!!!

    When Playing Chennai......Put Levi down the order...bcoz IT IS EASY TO STEAL RUNS FROM DHONI FROM LAST OVERS...AS SEEN IN CB SERIES Line-up with chennai: 1. Sachin 2. Rayudu 3. Rohit Sharma 4. Dinesh Karthik enders.....:- 5. Pollard 6. Levi 7. Perara/Franklin 8. Bhajji 9. Malinga 10. Ojha 11. Munaf

  • Mir Hussain on February 29, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    MI is responsible for symonds retirement when symonds is there in DC he played all games & DC got the IPL Trophy

    but when he went to MI he was there but he was not selected to play. sachin should give respect him & should have gave him chance to play. for sachin 3 are fixed pollard, malinga, blizzard, & fourth is maybe fernando, franklin or other i think sachin should feel that he has done wrong with symonds

    world cricket is now lost a great legend like symonds

  • Mir Hussain on February 29, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    the main reason of andrew symonds retirement is mumbai indians are having so many international players in that they have such a great player like symonds but they have not given him such a reputation & chance to prove himself that he is one of a great player in world cricket he was there in MI for last IPL but didn't get the chance because sachin was going with malinga, pollard, blizzard, franklin or fernando. in short in my point of view is MI is the responsible

  • Renju on February 29, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Somehow fans of other teams are worried about the inclusion 'too many' players in their sqaud. Inclusion of Levi is as a replacement of Symonds, and form oif Davy Jacobs is in doubts. Inclusion of Levi will never affect a chance of an Indian player, I guess. And MI is the only team who played an IPL match with juist 3 foreigners!

  • narbavi on February 28, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    now with levi sachin gibbs pollard and rohit i think mumbai can score record 250 scores in ipl and win the cup this time for sure!! hopefully guys like pollard rohit sharma and harbhajan quit their intl careers and solely focus on winning the ipl this time for mumbai!! GO MI!!

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    I am not sure what MI is going to do, buying so many players, they are good players, no doubt about it, but everybody will be under doubt whether they will play in the XI, and shuffling the players will end in disaster.. I am CSK supporter nd i feel that instead of a gr8 squad, you should have a gr8 team playing XI who will have confidence and assurity about their place... we can revolve players, np, but having so many players....??? All the best MI.. lets see.. anyway hoping for a 3rd title for CSK :)

  • Satish on February 28, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Isn't this a great loss for the youngsters in Mumbai Indians team? SK Yadav who seems a very good upcoming potential and had a great hand in the CLT20 win is now out of frame.. Fast bowlers like Abu Nechim and Dhawal Kulkarni are now going to be out of frame due to Munaf and RP.. Ali Murtaza will lose out the place to Ojha.. MI was already a strong team but now they are just signing too many new stars and shaking their original team.. Apart from Sachin, Malinga, Bhajji and Pollard, none looks like steady starter.. To certain extent, Rohit..

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