IPL 2024 Auction: Gujarat Titans Captain Hardik Pandya Is Rejoining Mumbai Indians For All-Cash Trade, Says Report Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians. (Image: ANI)

In what is the biggest trade in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya is set to move back to his former franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of the IPL 2024 auction in December. This is going to be an all-cash trade which means MI will be playing the full amount of Hardik’s salary plus an undisclosed transfer fee to GT. Hardik is also likely to earn half of the transfer fee, says a report in ESPNcricinfo.

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Hardik’s IPL salary is around $1.8 million, which is approximately Rs 15 crore. Both the franchises are tight-lipped on this mega deal so far. If the deal goes through, it wil be the first time an IPL-winning captain will switch teams via trade. Hardik had won the IPL trophy in his first season as the captain of the debutant Titans in 2022. In 2023, he took the team to the finl wherein they lost to MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

For this deal to take place, MI need to have Rs 15 crore in their purse. Currently, they have just Rs 0.05 crore. All ten franchises are getting Rs 5 crore for the upcoming auction. However, to get the remaning Rs 10 crore to get Hardik and make this deal happen, MI will need to release some players.

During his tenure of two seasons with the Titans, Hardik amassed 833 runs in 30 innings, boasting an impressive average of 41.65 and a striking rate of 133.49. Additionally, he contributed to the team’s bowling arsenal, claiming 11 wickets with an economy rate of 8.1. Presently, Hardik is on the sidelines due to an ankle injury sustained during India’s ODI World Cup journey.

Two captains have been traded before. They were R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane as Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) swapped the players.

Hardik had begun his career at Mumbai Indians in 2015. Aheas of 2022 mega auctions, MI let Hardik go as they could retain only a few players. Hardik was the first player picked by GT owners CVC capital from the pool along with Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill. 

Hardik has won four titles with MI: 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 respectively. With Rohit Sharma on verge of retirement, MI may want Hardik back to lead the side in a couple of years.

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