Hardik Pandya's homecoming: Mumbai Indians seal all-cash deal with Gujarat Titans

Hardik Pandya moves back to Mumbai Indians Ahead of IPL 2024 Auction in an all-cash deal with Gujrat Titans. Here's everything to know about the biggest transfer ahead of the season.

Sarah Andrew
New Update

Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

In a potential game-changing move, Mumbai Indians are gearing up to bring back their prodigious all-rounder, Hardik Pandya, in what could be the most significant player trade in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Hardik, who began his IPL journey with Mumbai Indians, played a pivotal role in their title-winning campaigns in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

The surprising twist in Hardik's IPL trajectory occurred when Mumbai Indians released him ahead of the 2022 mega auction. The franchise, constrained by the rule allowing only four player retentions that year, opted for Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard.

Hardik found a new home with the Gujrat Titans in 2022, leading them to an IPL title in their debut season. The all-rounder's impactful performances continued in 2023, guiding the Titans to the IPL final for the second consecutive season, finishing atop the points table under his leadership.

During his stint with the Titans, Hardik showcased his all-round prowess, amassing 833 runs in 30 innings at an impressive average of 41.65 and a strike rate of 133.49. He also contributed with the ball, taking 11 wickets at an economy rate of 8.1. Unfortunately, Hardik is currently nursing an ankle injury sustained during India's ODI World Cup campaign.

Trade of the decade!

Now, reliable sources suggest that Hardik Pandya is on the verge of making a sensational return to Mumbai Indians through an all-cash deal ahead of the IPL Auction scheduled for December 19th. The high-stakes trade involves Mumbai paying a hefty INR 15 crore ($1.8 million approx.) as Hardik's salary, along with an undisclosed transfer fee to the Titans. Notably, Hardik stands to earn up to 50% of the transfer fee, adding a significant financial dimension to this potential blockbuster deal.

If the trade materializes, it could mark the most substantial player trade in IPL history. Both Mumbai Indians and Gujrat Titans have maintained silence, refraining from making any public comments on the speculated trade. However, Mumbai faces a formidable challenge in managing its purse for the deal, given its limited funds after the previous auction. With an additional INR 5 crore ($600,000 approx.) expected for the upcoming auction, Mumbai will need to release players to finalize the Hardik trade before the retention deadline on November 26 at 4 pm IST.

If this homecoming unfolds, Hardik Pandya will join the list of captains traded in the IPL, following the footsteps of R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane in 2020. The cricketing world awaits official confirmation of what could be a historic reunion between Hardik Pandya and Mumbai Indians.

Indian Premier League Hardik Pandya Mumbai Indians IPL IPL 2024