'If it's true, Mumbai Indians have struck gold', says R Ashwin on Hardik Pandya's possible return to MI | Mint
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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  'If it's true, Mumbai Indians have struck gold', says R Ashwin on Hardik Pandya's possible return to MI
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'If it's true, Mumbai Indians have struck gold', says R Ashwin on Hardik Pandya's possible return to MI

Pandya began his IPL career with MI in 2015 and was a part of the side until 2021. He won four titles with MI and was picked up by the Ahmedabad-based franchise Gujarat Titans into the competition in 2022, where was made the captain of the side.

(File) India's Hardik Pandya bowls during their match against Bangladesh in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune on Thursday. (ANI Photo) (ANI )Premium
(File) India's Hardik Pandya bowls during their match against Bangladesh in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune on Thursday. (ANI Photo) (ANI )

Days after the ICC World Cup 2023, Indian Premier League (IPL) trading of players have begun, India off-spinner R Ashwin on 26 November cleared the air on Hardik Pandya shifting base to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans, while MI have 'struck gold', reported news agency PTI.

The IPL trading window concluded on Sunday and reports arrived that Pandya may be returning to MI in an all-cash trade with GT, which may be worth over 15 crore.

"If it's true, Mumbai Indians have struck gold. So, it's a complete cash deal from whatever I read. There's no player that Mumbai is giving," Ashwin said in a video he shared on his Instagram account.

ALSO READ: IPL 2024: Hardik Pandya to quit Gujarat Titans? Mumbai Indians plans his comeback

"Mumbai Indians have never given players on trade. I don't think it has happened ever. But, how does that XI look like if Hardik goes back who's an MI-grown player?

"There's three times when a captain has been traded. One, yours truly, No. 2 Ajinkya Rahane and now Hardik Pandya," Ashwin concluded.

Hardik Pandya IPL career:

Pandya began his Indian Premier League career with MI in 2015 and was a part of the side until 2021. He won four titles with Mumbai Indians.

He was picked up by the Ahmedabad-based franchise Gujarat Titans into the competition in 2022 and made the captain of the side. In their debut season only, GT clinched the title and Pandya helped them finish as the runner-up in IPL 2023.

Difference between MI and GT:

Ashwin added, "The only difference between us and Hardik is that he's an IPL-winning captain, which completely changes the balance for even Gujarat Titans," added Ashwin.

"It will be interesting to see whether another Pandya might.. oh sorry, sorry. But, what Mumbai needs to do now is because Hardik Pandya is a 15-crore player, they have to free up their purse to make sure they come under the auction budget."

Apart from this, it is unclear as to whether MI have decided to release their 8 crore buy Jofra Archer, who has been injured for the better part of the last couple of seasons.

With the IPL Governing Council increasing the purse by an additional 5 crore, MI will go into the mini-auction with 5.50 crore (up from the existing 50 lakh purse) unless they release some of their big buys to swell the reserve money.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 26 Nov 2023, 04:24 PM IST
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