IPL 2024: Life comes full circle as Hardik Pandya returns to Mumbai Indians

Hardik Pandya returned to Mumbai Indians after two years of stay with Gujarat Titans

By Arfath Pasha S

Updated - 27 Nov 2023, 15:10 IST

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The cricket world was abuzz with talks of Hardik Pandya's potential return to his former squad, the Mumbai Indians, for IPL 2024. Speculations ran rampant following the retention process, yet an official confirmation remained elusive. However, in a splendid display, the Mumbai Indians heralded the homecoming of their prodigal player by unveiling a captivating image of Hardik proudly sporting the MI jersey. It's a triumphant moment marking the all-rounder's return to his cricketing roots with the franchise that feels like home.

The cricket world was abuzz with talks of Hardik Pandya's potential return to his former squad, the Mumbai Indians, for IPL 2024. Speculations ran rampant following the retention process, yet an official confirmation remained elusive. However, in a splendid display, the Mumbai Indians heralded the homecoming of their prodigal player by unveiling a captivating image of Hardik proudly sporting the MI jersey. It's a triumphant moment marking the all-rounder's return to his cricketing roots with the franchise that feels like home.

Hardik embarked on his IPL journey in 2015 as an uncapped player with Mumbai Indians, signing at a modest Rs 10 lakhs. His impactful contributions were pivotal in securing Mumbai's championship victories in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. However, ahead of the 2022 mega auction, Mumbai Indians released Pandya, opting to retain a core team comprising Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard.

Hardik’s homecoming was filled with twists

Amidst a bit of confusion during the retention window closure on November 26, there was initial mention of Pandya being retained by Gujarat Titans, the team he led to a triumphant debut in the 2022 edition. However, due to procedural delays, the necessary approvals from IPL authorities and the BCCI hadn't been finalised before the window closed.

Following the swift resolution of formalities, it was clarified that the trade-off, though occurring after the retention window shut, was within the permissible timeframe until December 12. Pandya, eventually picked by Gujarat Titans before the 2022 auction for a reported fee of ₹15 crore, showcased his leadership by guiding the team to consecutive finals, clinching the championship in his debut season and narrowly missing out on the title in a thrilling encounter against CSK in 2023

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