Mumbai Indians complete Hardik Pandya deal with Gujarat Titans: Report

Hardik Pandya was picked by Gujarat Titans before the 2022 auction

pandya-kkr-pti Hardik Pandya of Gujarat Titans plays a shot against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2022, at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai | PTI

India's T20I captain Hardik Pandya on Sunday returned to Mumbai Indians after 72 hours of intense drama. 

"Yes, Hardik's trade off got completed after 5 pm. The deal is now formalised and he is a MI player. It's been a tripartite all cash deal. MI have traded their all-rounder Cameron Green to RCB in an all cash deal. After that they had requisite funds to settle an all-cash deal with Gujarat Titans and procure Hardik's services," a senior BCCI official and IPL Governing Council member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

On Sunday at 5 pm, the IPL retention window was closed and at that point, Gujarat Titans named their IPL-winning captain in the retention list raising a lot of eyebrows.

However, it was learnt that the formal paperwork wasn't yet completed and hence IPL and BCCI didn't give greenlight of approval for the most anticipated move of this transfer season.

It must be mentioned that Green was bought by MI for a whopping Rs 17.5 crore during last auction and hence the money required to buy Hardik wasn't available till that deal was inked.

Pandya was picked by Gujarat Titans before the 2022 auction from the list of available players for the two new franchises -- GT and Lucknow Super Giants.

His reported fee was Rs 15 crore and he led the side to back-to-back finals, winning the championship in his maiden year and losing a thriller to CSK in 2023.

Mumbai Indians, who have one of the most systematic team building processes, have roped in Pandya with a long-term plan in mind as there will be a mega auction in 2025 and every franchise will try to build a new team with a young core.

However with India's ODI and Test captain Rohit Sharma still very much in the mix and perhaps the franchise's biggest icon with five titles under his belt, it would be interesting what kind of decision the owners and top management with regard to leadership.

The lure of captaining IPL's most popular franchise with the biggest fan base was also a reason apart from building his brand as a national skipper in one of the formats. 

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