In another trade, Delhi Capitals released New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult to defending champions Mumbai Indians. An IPL statement called the Boult deal a "trade", but Mumbai did not release any player in exchange. ESPNcricinfo understands the New Zealand fast bowler was bought by Mumbai as part of an all-cash deal. It could not be confirmed whether Mumbai paid any extra money over the hammer price of INR 2.2 crore, which Capitals had shelled out for Boult in the 2018 auction.
Mumbai also drafted in Dhawal Kulkarni, for whom it's a homecoming having played for the Mumbai domestic side all his life, from the Royals.
ESPNcricinfo also understands that Mumbai released West Indies batsman Evin Lewis, who was bought by the franchise in the 2018 auction for INR 3.8 crore. Lewis played just three matches last IPL after picking a hamstring injury during the tournament. He regained fitness, but had to be on the bench after the success of South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who was Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma's opening partner.
It is believed that at least three franchises, including Mumbai, were in the race to get Boult. Mumbai will be Boult's fourth IPL team, having had stints earlier at Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Capitals. Boult might welcome the move, considering he played just five matches for the Capitals, who found it hard to fit him into the bowling combinations.
Mumbai were on the lookout to find a replacement for Australian left-arm fast bowler Jason Behrendorff, who has been laid low by an injury which is likely to keep him out for several months. With Lasith Malinga not a certainty to play every match, Mumbai needed an experienced seamer who had pace, as well as the guile to bowl with the new ball and at the death.
Mumbai's owner Aakash Ambani said Boult satisfied these criteria, and Boult's acquisition was an important one because he would add to the home advantage that Mumbai's fast men have created over the years. "Mumbai Indians have always taken pride in having a good pace attack," Ambani said in a media release. "Year-on-year our bowlers have won us many games, a classic example being last year's final. We are delighted to have Trent Boult as part of the MI family. I am sure his experience across formats, especially in limited overs, will add value to our campaign."
Gowtham had been bought by the Royals at the 2018 auction for INR 6.2 crore while Rajpoot went for INR 3 crore to Kings XI. Boult was bought by the Capitals for INR 2.2 crore, and Kulkarni was bought for INR 75 lakh by the Royals. Gowtham, who is 31, has been a regular part of India A teams and was the third-highest wicket-taker on the A tour of the Caribbean in July-August. However, the Karnataka allrounder had a woeful IPL last season: in seven matches he scored just 18 runs and picked up a solitary wicket.