Mumbai, Feb 27: South Africa's new Twenty20 batting sensation Richard Levi will play for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after he was signed up by them on Monday.
Levi said it would be an honour to share the dressing room with his childhood hero Sachin Tendulkar.
"I am honoured to have Mumbai Indians management interest in my services. I have heard from friends around that Mumbai Indians is like an extended family where team shares a great bond and entrust upon youngsters. Beyond, Sachin Tendulkar has been my childhood hero and it would be exciting to share the dressing room with him," he said.
“Richard is the perfect fit for Mumbai Indians current requirement. Post Andrew Symonds"s retirement, we were on a lookout for an explosive opening batsman and Richard"s timing for his massive unbeaten 117 was so perfect to draw our attention," was the team's reaction.
Levi, the righ-handed opener, made headlines across the globe with a world record fastest Twenty20 International hundred against New Zeland and also a world record tally of 13 sixes in the same match in Hamilton recently. He scored an unbeaten 117 off 51 balls with 13 sixes. His century came in just 45 balls.
Levi, 24, was pursued by Pune Warriors and Mumbai but finally the latter have managed to sign him. He was unsold during the February 4, 2012, auction in Bangalore. His base price was $50,000.
Mumbai were in need of a foreign player after Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds quit from all forms of the game recently.
In the fifth edition of the IPL, Levi might have the privilege of opening the batting with his childhood hero Tendulkar. It will be a heavy batting unit for Mumbai as they already possess one of the best hitters in the game in Kieron Pollard of West Indies.
He made his T20 International debut in the recent series against New Zealand and has so far played in three T20Is. overall he has played 37 T20s had has scored 876 runs at a strike rate of 148.22.
In the domestic South African championship, he plays for Cape Cobras. He played for Cobras during the Champions League T20 tournament in 2011 in India.