Trading Skippers: IPL's unique club expands with Hardik Pandya moving to Mumbai Indians

Hardik Pandya might return to Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024. The trade would also mark the third time an IPL captain would be traded in the history of the tournament. 

Sarah Andrew
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Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin (Source: Twitter)

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya who made his IPL debut with Mumbai Indians in 2015, has been leading the Gujarat Titans since 2022. Under his captaincy, the Titans won the IPL title in 2022 and finished as the runners-up this year. However, according to sources, the India player has agreed to rejoin MI for a whopping INR 15 crore ($1.8 million approx.), with the latter paying his salary and an undisclosed transfer fee to the GT. The report also claims that Pandya could earn up to 50% of the transfer fee.

The trade, if confirmed, would be a huge boost for the five-time winners, who are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2023 season, where they failed to reach the final. The Baroda player, who is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the world, would add firepower to their batting and bowling departments. 

On the other hand, the trade would be a major blow for the Titans, who would lose their star player and leader.

A historical glance at IPL's captaincy trade trend!

The trade would also mark the third time an IPL captain would be traded in the history of the tournament. 

This potential transfer brings back memories of IPL 2020 when the Delhi Capitals made waves in the cricketing world by securing the services of two IPL skippers in the same season. The Capitals orchestrated the trades of veteran Indian batter Ajinkya Rahane from the Rajasthan Royals and seasoned all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin from the Punjab Kings.

The move turned out to be a masterstroke for the Delhi-based franchise. Both Rahane and Ashwin not only added valuable experience to the squad but also played pivotal roles in guiding the team to the final. The Capitals reached the IPL final for the first time in their history, a remarkable achievement that showcased the impact of strategic captaincy trades.

The IPL 2024 season is expected to start in April next year, with the auction likely to take place in January. The trade window and the deadline for retentions are closing soon, and more surprises could be in store for the fans and the franchises. Pandya’s return to Mumbai Indians, however, would be the most sensational one of them all.

Hardik Pandya Ravichandran Ashwin Ajinkya Rahane IPL 2024