Hardik Pandya set to return to Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024 | Reports

Image Source : PTI Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya during IPL 2023

In a major development in the Indian Premier League, Gujarat Titans’ captain Hardik Pandya is reportedly set to join Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2024 edition. Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are all set to pay INR 15 crore to re-sign the star all-rounder ahead of the player auction on December 19.

Teams have till November 26 to submit their list of retained and released players with player swap deals already taking place. ESPNCricinfo reports that Hardik is all set to rejoin Mumbai Indians which further confirms all the speculations floating on the internet in the IPL player trade window.

Hardik started his IPL journey with Mumbai Indians in 2015 and left the team in 2021. He was signed by debutant Gujarat Titans prior to the 2022 mega auction and was later named the team captain. Hardik famously guided the Ahmedabad-based franchise to the IPL title in 2022 and also led the side to the final of the 2023 edition.

The 30-year-old batting all-rounder lifted the IPL trophy with Mumbai Indians on four occasions. He was a surprise release prior to the 2022 mega auction and was snapped by the Titans for INR 15 crore from the player’s pool. Hardik shone with both bat and ball with his new team in 2022 and famously won the Player of the Match award in the final. But he struggled for consistency in the last edition despite the team’s impressive run to the final.

Hardik is widely tipped to be named India’s future white-ball captain and might lead the Mumbai franchise after Rohit Sharma’s retirement in the future. Gujarat Titans have New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson who can lead the team in the IPL 2024 if Hardik completes his move to Mumbai Indians. 

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians need to make funds available to sign Hardik with only 50 lakh in the purse. Teams are given permission to spend an extra INR 5 crore for the 2024 edition and Mumbai Indians are likely to release some big-name players, including Jofra Archer, to sign Hardik before the auction. 

If Hardik signs for Mumbai Indians, it will be the biggest transfer in IPL trade window history. Hardik will also become the only third captain to get traded in IPL history after Ajinkya Rahane’s move to Delhi Capitals from Rajasthan Royals and Ravichandran Ashwin’s departure from Punjab Kings to Delhi Capitals.

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