An Instagram story posted by Jasprit Bumrah about ‘silence’ on Tuesday has caused all sorts of chaos among fans on social media. A day after Hardik Pandya’s return to IPL franchise Mumbai Indians was confirmed on Monday, Bumrah’s cryptic post has led to all kind of speculations. Bumrah’s post reads ‘Silence is sometimes the best answer’, and while nothing concrete can be made of it, fan theories have started running rampage, most of which hint at a possible rift between the two parties.

Jasprit Bumrah missed IPL 2023 due to his back injury(Mumbai Indians Twitter)

Some have shared screenshots of Bumrah unfollowing MI on Instagram, while others believe his new home is down south at the Royal Challengers Bangalore. A section of fans believe Hardik’s return to MI threw a spanner in the pacer’s desire of becoming the captain after Rohit Sharma steps down, whereas a sensible fragment reckons there’s no need to read between the lines.

However, the fact is that Bumrah has been an integral part of MI. He has has been with them since the very beginning of his IPL career – back in 2015 – has picked 145 wickets at an average of 23.30 and been part of four IPL title winning campaigns in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Having said that, social media is a platform where the people share snippets of their wildest imaginations and this is no different.

Here are a few:

Bumrah, who missed the entire IPL 2022 due to his back injury, was retained by MI during the official player retention show on Sunday. They traded Cameron Green, whom they picked at last year’s auction for 17.5 crore to RCB, and released Jofra Archer as the speedster continues to be pinned down by injuries. Green’s trade came as somewhat of a surprise as he played all 16 matches last season and scored 452 runs from 16 matches including an unbeaten century. He also picked six wickets. The only logical explanation to this is Hardik’s re-entry. Both play a similar role and with the India T20I captain being an expensive buy, Green’s time was up.

Although Bumrah has been retained, there is a possibility of him being traded to another team as the window for the same closes on December 12, a week before the IPL 2024 player auction on December 19. Hardik’s return to MI followed a similar pattern. Initially listed in Gujarat Titans’ retained players on Sunday, he officially rejoined the franchise where his journey began in 2015 just a day later.

Other players released by MI include Tristan Stubbs, Duan Jansen, Jhye Richardson, Ramandeep Singh, Raghav Goyal, Arshad Khan, Hrithik Shokeen, and Sandeep Warrier (brought in as a replacement for Bumrah). Additionally, Chris Jordan was signed as a replacement for Archer, Riley Meredith replaced Jhye Richardson, and Cameron Green was traded to RCB.