Mumbai: Richard Levi, the South African batsman, has been snapped up by Mumbai Indians for the upcoming IPL (Indian Premier League) season as a replacement for Andrew Symonds who retired earlier this month.
Levi, 24, had been ignored in the IPL 5 auction in Bangalore on February 4 but his record-breaking fastest Twenty20 international century for South Africa against New Zealand in Hamilton on February 19 catapulted him into the limelight and onto the IPL franchises’ radar. With South Africa chasing a target of 174 in the second Twenty20, Levi smashed an unbeaten 117 off just 51 balls – the joint-highest individual score in the format to hasten an eight-wicket win that levelled the series.
Levi reached his century in 45 balls, making it the quickest century in Twenty20 cricket and his whirlwind knock included a record 13 sixes. Levi is a success in Twenty20 cricket in South Africa, with a career tally of 876 runs at an average of 31.28, and strike-rate of 148.22 in 37 matches.
Symonds, the former Australian allrounder, had retired from all forms of cricket citing personal reasons.
In related news, the Pune Warriors franchise signed on Bengal fast bowler Ashok Dinda and Australian allrounder James Hopes from the Delhi Daredevils. Pune have two overseas players’ slots to fill before the trading window closes on February 29.