With the 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) looming around the horizon, the fans lie in wait to witness their favourite players take centre stage once more in arguably the biggest franchise cricket league in the world.
With the auction of the tournament approaching, the teams have finished trading, retaining and releasing their players ahead of the marquee tournament. However, in arguably one of the biggest news in IPL history, it was announced that Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya has been traded to Mumbai Indians.
This was not the first time that a skipper was traded to another franchise ahead of an IPL season. Ahead of the IPL 2020, Delhi Capitals secured the services of Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Punjab Kings skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, both in the same season.
It is worth noting that 2020 was Delhi Capitals’ best season in the IPL, the only season where the side reached the summit clash of the tournament but just fell short at the final hurdle against, incidentally, the Mumbai Indians.
Pandya’s arrival in Mumbai Indians will be the third time that a skipper has been traded to another IPL franchise. Interestingly, the ace all-rounder has been sensational as the captain of Gujarat Titans. Winning the competition in 2022, Pandya followed it up by leading the side in the final in 2023 but they fell short in the summit clash against Chennai Super Kings.
The five-time champions will get a huge boost in their middle-order as being one of the best all-rounders in world cricket, Pandya’s inclusion in the side could prove to be a game-changer for the Rohit Sharma-led side after the franchise has not been able to perform up to their usual standard in the recent editions.