Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya is allegedly in negotiations with the five-time IPL champion Mumbai Indians about a comeback. The announcement comes ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in December.
Pandya played seven IPL seasons with Mumbai until being released prior to the 2022 season. Pandya guided Gujarat Titans to back-to-back IPL finals, including the title in their maiden season, after joining the team.
“Yes, I can confirm that there have been discussions about Hardik joining MI.” There is still a potential that he would swap teams, but nothing more can be verified at this time because the contract has yet to be completed,” stated an IPL source to PTI news agency.
Because trade entails player shifting, it is unclear who may join the Titans if Pandya returns to the MI fold.
Pandya began his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2015, and various media sources have suggested that he may return to the franchise for the 2019 season. The Mumbai Indians are allegedly willing to pay 15 crore to bring Pandya back into the club. So yet, neither IPL team has commented on the mega-deal.
With the IPL Governing Council upping the purse by 5 crore, MI will enter the mini-auction with 5.5 crore (up from the present 50 lakh purse), unless they release any of their major acquisitions to augment the reserve money.
If Pandya ultimately joins MI, the major issue is whether he will play behind the famous Rohit Sharma, who has guided the club to five titles and has been in top form.
These are the unresolved questions for the time being, and the picture will become obvious once the BCCI formally reveals the final trade list.