Hardik Pandya is all set for a new role in the Indian Premier League. The talented all-rounder will be leading his new franchise in IPL 2022. The Ahmedabad team will be led by a player who has helped Mumbai win multiple titles.
"Hardik is a very exciting cricketer. He is super talented and he has energy for the game which is second to none. In this format he is a proven winner. He has won a number of titles for Mumbai. We are looking for that experience to be shared with our group. As far as a leader that point in itself, his leadership skills were apparent in his senior role in those Championship winning teams for Mumbai. We are hoping that all of that experience will help us in his own right as far as cricketer is concerned he is as exciting as anybody playing the game at the moment. He is a very talented multi-dimensional cricketer bat, ball or field and what is particularly pleasing is that he is a local boy. So, I am sure all of the fans around Ahmedabad and Gujarat will associate with him and will support his endeavours to make this a successful team," said Director of Cricket in Ahmedabad franchise Vikram Solanki to ANI.
Former England cricketer Vikram Solanki left his role as Head Coach of Surrey County Cricket Club in order to take over as a Director of Cricket in the Ahmedabad franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I am really excited about being back at the IPL. It is the most exciting and biggest league in the world. So, I am very excited to have the opportunity to take on this role at the new Gujarat franchise," said Vikram Solanki while speaking to ANI.
While Vikram Solanki has been appointed as Ahmedabad's Director of Cricket, Hardik Pandya will be leading the franchise. Gary Kirsten will serve as the batting coach and mentor of the Ahmedabad franchise while Ashish Nehra has been appointed as the head coach.
"Yes, we have certainly got a lot of international experience in place as far as Gary and Ashish are concerned. Ashish obviously will head up the coaching side of the things and he has worked as all three of us have together before. To have the understanding of how each other work we are really looking forward to how each other work. We are really looking forward to sort of getting started to work on this project. Like us we have said we are really pleased with the three players we have signed. It has come about through a lot of collaboration through not only those guys but a lot of those guys who are involved in the project as well," Vikram Solanki told ANI.
Ahmedabad franchise has also roped in Afghanistan's leg spinner Rashid Khan and talented Indian youngster Shubman Gill giving them INR 15 Crores and INR 8 Crores respectively.
"Yes, we are very pleased with the first three players we have managed to get on board. It has taken some work, some conversations and everybody has been involved in terms of the management group. They played a part in acquiring these three very exciting players," Solanki told ANI.
The first assignment for Hardik Pandya, Vikram Solanki, Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra will be IPL 2022 auction on February 12 and 13 where these four will have to form their squad for the upcoming season.
"Like all the other teams I am sure all are doing exactly the same thing. We got our first three. We got to do a lot of work in between now and the auction as the conversations are ongoing with those guys that you have mentioned. We are taking input from everybody. I am glad you mentioned Hardik. We will take a lot of input from Hardik, Ashish and Gary and figure out a way on how to approach an auction," explained Vikram Solanki.
The IPL 2022 Player Auction will have a total of 590 cricketers set to go under the hammer during the two-day mega auction which will take place in Bengaluru. Ahmedabad as well as nine other teams will also be bidding to have some of the biggest cricketing names.
"Absolutely everybody will try to be as planned as they possibly can be and that is the right thing to do and one has strategies in place and try and have plans in place. Try and have options in place but of course how the action plays out is an entirely different matter. One plans, two plans, three plans and on and on but I suppose that is a part of the attraction of the auction. It is a mega event in itself as it is named. So, I am sure there will be lots of sort of exciting viewership for everybody that is watching our auction and equally it will be a huge sort of a thing to be excited about being part of it," explained Vikram Solanki to ANI. The fans of Ahmedabad are excited as their franchise is making their debut in the IPL and before that the Ahmedabad team management will have to do a lot of brainstorming to get the right combination for the squad.
"Just to come out and support us. We are very much at the start of the journey. We are starting afresh and it is hugely exciting but there is a lot of work for us to do. We request you to be patient, give us your support, give us your love and we are very much looking forward to making Ahmedabad a team you are proud of," said Solanki.