Jayawardene: No regrets over missing out on Stokes

“We knew that it was going to be a far cry with the budget that we had”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene has insisted that he has no regrets over missing out on England all-rounder Ben Stokes at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in February.

The Indians were interested in Stokes right from the get-go and got entangled in a bidding war with the Delhi Daredevils.

But, once the Daredevils bid INR 10.5 crore for the 25-year-old, the Sunrisers Hyderabad entered the fray and the Indians subsequently lost interest.

Stokes ended up being sold to the Rising Pune Supergiants for INR 14.5 crore, making him the most expensive foreign player to ever be sold at the IPL auction.

“We knew that it was going to be a far cry with the budget that we had,” Jayawardene said. “He’s a genuine all-rounder who brings a different dimension to the game. He’ll offer something special in the IPL. But it’s about how one performs on the day. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

With a solid squad in hand, the Indians will be looking to win their third IPL title this year. However, Jayawardene acknowledged that it will be much easier said than done.

“I am very happy, so far, we’ve got a healthy squad going into the first game,” the legendary Sri Lanka batsman said. “This season is going to be tough, the tournament is going to be only five weeks because of the Champions Trophy.

“We’re going to play our first 6 games in around 18 days, which includes travelling, we need to be mindful of this.

“There are enough media people out here who will have their own opinions to say after each and every game, each player will have to go through that.”

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