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Fresh twist as Hardik set to rejoin Mumbai Indians

Last updated on: November 26, 2023 22:26 IST
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IMAGE: Hardik Pandya joined Gujarat Titans as captain in 2022 and led them to the title in the maiden season. He then guided them to the final of IPL 2023. Photograph: BCCI

India's flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to return to the Mumbai Indians franchise for IPL 2024, with a one-way all-cash trade deal nearing completion.

The 30-year-old player's name, though, figured in the list of retained players announced by Gujarat Titans, his existing franchise, earlier on Sunday, the deadline for player release and retention.

The Pandya deal was possible because all-rounder Cameron Green was traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore in another all-cash transaction to the tune of Rs 17.5 crore.

Initially, Hardik was named in the Gujarat's list of released players before a late twist saw Mumbai Indians push the deal through following hefty negotiations after the end of the deadline.

The trading window, however, is open till December 12, while the mini auction is on December 19, in Dubai.

Pandya began his Indian Premier League career with Mumbai Indians in 2015 and was part of the side until 2021. He won four titles with Mumbai Indians.

Following the inclusion of Gujarat Titans in the competition in 2022, he was picked up by the Ahmedabad-based franchise and also made captain of the side.

He led Gujarat Titans to title success in their debut season and helped them finish runners-up in IPL 2023.

Speculation was rife that Pandya could rejoin Mumbai Indians, ending his two-year association with the Titans ahead of the IPL 2024.

While the Mumbai franchise named Rohit Sharma as captain for the upcoming IPL season, England pacer Jofra Archer, who is still recuperating from surgery on his elbow, was released.

The move will make Pandya one of the few captains to be traded in the IPL, joining the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane, who were traded in 2020.

Meanwhile, in other notable moves, Sunrisers Hyderabad let go off Harry Brook.

Having splurged Rs 13.25 crore last season, SRH released Brook after just one campaign.

On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore, still looking for the elusive IPL title, made an unexpected move, releasing Josh Hazlewood along with Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga.

Check out the fill list of players retained, released and traded here

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