Hardik Pandya is reportedly set to make a return to Mumbai Indians as it seems that he is departing Gujarat Titans.
ESPNcricinfo has reported that the trade is an all-cash deal comprising Mumbai paying INR 15 crore as Hardik’s salary and an undisclosed transfer fee to Titans. Hardik is likely to earn upto 50% of the transfer fee.
It has come to light that if the trade goes through, it will possibly be the biggest player trade in IPL history. Both franchises are yet to address the matter publicly. The biggest challenge for Mumbai is to have an adequate purse for the trade. After the last auction, Mumbai had just INR 0.05 crore ($6000 approx.) left.
It is noted that the franchises will get an additional INR 5 crore ($600,000 approx.) in their purse for the forthcoming auction. Mumbai Indians would have to release player(s) to finish the Hardik trade. The retention deadline expires on November 26 at 4pm IST.
Hardik had a great run with Gujarat Titans. He led the side to the title last year which was also their debut season in the IPL. He was awarded the Player of the Match in the final against Rajasthan Royals.
In 2023, the Titans made the IPL final for the second time in two seasons, where they came runners up to Chennai Super Kings. In both seasons, under Hardik’s leadership, Titans had finished top of the points table in the league stage.
In his two-season stint at Titans, Hardik scored 833 runs in 30 innings, with an average of 41.65 and strike rate of 133.49. He took 11 wickets for them with an economy of 8.1. Hardik is currently injured, having suffered an ankle injury during India’s ODI World Cup campaign.