Moments after the Gujarat Titans announced that they have retained all- rounder and captain Hardik Pandya ahead of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions, it has now been reported that the 30-year-old has been traded to his former side Mumbai Indians.
Pandya was in the list of retained players that GT released as the minutes ticked down to the deadline for teams to announce the players whom they have retained.
However, while the deadline for announcing retentions has ended, the trading window remains open until seven days before the IPL auction is scheduled to be held on Dubai on December 19. Further, it is set to be an all-cash deal which means that MI have not released any player to GT. Pandya’s league fee for the year is 15 crore. The deal has been formally approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and IPL but the value of the trade is yet to become clear.
MI were rumoured to be offsetting a few big names to free up funds for bringing Pandya back in the foldOn Sunday, they revealed that Hardik was widely speculated to make a spectacular return to MI ahead of the 2024 season; it was at the Mumbai-based franchise where Hardik began his journey in the tournament. He was released by MI ahead of the 2022 season after injuries derailed his career; the all-rounder, then, made himself unavailable for international selection as he focussed on his recovery and rehab, and made a return to professional cricket with the Titans.
Pandya was with the MI teams that won four of the five IPL titles that the franchise has won. Around the time that he was released was also when he was struggling with injuries and had even lost his place in the Indian team. However, his career got a second wind after leading Gujarat Titans to IPL success in 2022. In this year’s IPL, they finished runners-up after ending second best to Chennai Super Kings in a nail-biting final. Shubman Gill is the vice- captain at GT.