The Mumbai Indians are a successful cricket franchise that play in the Indian Premier League and represent the city of Mumbai. They are one of the eight founding members of the league and went on to become one of its fiercest contenders and biggest winners.
The Mumbai Indians are owned by the biggest conglomerate in the whole of India. Reliance Industries Limited own a number of rich and successful companies across the country, with a hand in everything from petrochemicals and energy, to textiles and retail.
Although recently founded, the Mumbai Indians are one of the biggest sport teams in the city, playing in the Wankhede Stadium, which was one of the stadiums used in the 2011 Cricket World Cup and has a capacity of over 33,000.
As a founding member of the IPL, the Mumbai Indians were one of the eight franchises to be sold and licensed to play in this league. They cost their owners close to $112 million, which made it the most expensive franchise in the league. Although linked with the city of Mumbai, the Mumbai Indians had yet to acquire their name which was given to them by their new owner, whose purchase gave them the rights to this franchise for ten years.
In the first season, despite being one of the richest franchises and despite having some big players in their ranks, they really struggled to make an impact. They relied on the skills of just a couple of batsmen and one or two bowlers, and away from those players they had very little going on, very little to gain an edge over the other stars of the league. In their first season they won half of their games and lost the other half, just missing out on a semi-final spot and disappointing their new fanbase.
Their second season wasn’t much better. They did dip into the player auction to strengthen their team, with JP Duminy being their main focus and the one they were pinning most of their hopes on, but again they struggled to make an impact and by the end of the season they had won just 5 of their 14 games, finishing seventh in the league table. Despite looking like they could only improve from their first season, the Mumbai Indians had actually gotten worse, and their future was looking very bleak at that point.
In 2010 the Mumbai Indians dipped into the player auction again, and this time they seemed determined to purchase players who they were sure could make a big impact. They purchased Kieron Pollard for a substantial fee and they went on to sign ten uncapped players, including some promising talents. They hired a new coach in Robin Singh, and they looked ahead to the new season with a little more hope and just as much expectation.
This time those expectations were met and the Mumbai Indians went on to top the table at the end of the season. They then defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-final and looked set to claim their first title, only for them to be defeated by the Chennai Super Kings. They made many mistakes in this final and were also criticized because of what many deemed to be poor strategy.
They spent big at the following season’s player auction, and continued to bring in quality players throughout the years that followed, but they struggled to make it over the final hurdle, losing in the 2011 and 2012 semi-finals.
The Mumbai Indians had established themselves as strong competitor though and it looks like matter of time before they claimed the title, which they went on to do for the first time in 2013. After another semi-final loss in the following year, they claimed victory again in 2015.
Rohit Sharma was instrumental in the Mumbai Indians’ turnaround, at one point taking over from Ricky Ponting, who would retire as a player soon afterwards, before taking over as a coach. Chris Gayle and Vinay Kumar were also there to help the Indians to turn things around, whilst the Sri Lankan international Lasith Malinga, who was with them from the very beginning, would go on to take the IPL record for the most career wickets.