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Gujarat Titans reveal why they let their captain Hardik Pandya go to the Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024 | Cricket News

Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans confirmed that Hardik Pandya would be returning to the Mumbai franchise for the next season of the Indian Premier League after many days of feverish speculation on whether the prolific all-rounder will stay put at the Titans.

Hardik was an integral part of the Mumbai franchise for four of its five titles between 2015 and 2021. After moving to the Titans, he led the team to the title in their first season itself in 2022 before the team lost the final last year on the last ball.

The Indian Express had reported on Sunday that in Hardik’s case, Mumbai Indians will have to pay his Rs 15 crore annual fees, the same amount which Gujarat Titans had paid for his services before the mega auction. Another report also said that to facilitate the trade for Pandya, Cameron Green – the Australian all rounder who was brought in for big money at the last auction – was moved from Mumbai Indians to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Both teams sent out press releases confirming the move on Monday afternoon.

The Titans’ statement revealed the reason behind them letting go of their captain.

Festive offer

“As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final. He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” said Vikram Solanki, Director of Cricket.

The team has also announced Shubman Gill as their captain.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians welcomed Hardik back in the fold.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It’s a heartwarming reunion with our Mumbai Indians family! From being a young scouted talent of Mumbai Indians to now being a team India star, Hardik has come a long way and we’re excited for what the future holds for him and Mumbai Indians!” said Nita Ambani.

“Seeing Hardik back at Mumbai Indians makes me very happy. It is a happy homecoming. He provides great balance to any team he plays. Hardik’s first stint with the MI family was hugely successful, and we hope he achieves even more success in his second stint,” Akash Ambani added.

Hardik’s return will solidify a team that has won five IPL titles and already has the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan.

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