Hardik Pandya‘s high-profile transfer from former IPL champions Gujarat Titans to his old franchise Mumbai Indians grabbed everyone’s attention. Hardik Pandya had led Gujarat Titans to IPL win in 2022 and to a runners-up finish in 2023. After that a shock move to Mumbai Indians, where Hardik Pandya made a name for himself in his early days, was the biggest news after the 10 IPL franchises had released the list of players who had been retained.
It has now come to light, that not only Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans was about to lose another star – Mohammed Shami. In an interview to News18, the Chief Operating Officer of Gujarat Titans, Colonel Arvinder Singh revealed that a franchise had contacted their leading wicket-taker Mohammed Shami too.
In the video, Colonel Arvinder Singh said: “Every franchise has the right to go for top players. The wrong part is that if an IPL franchise directly approaches a player. The method is wrong and the GT team management is not happy with the approach. The BCCI’s rule regarding player trade-odds, how the expression of interest cane be made to BCCI and then they will inform us. Then the franchise decides. This IPL team approached our coaching staff which is wrong. If they wanted the transfer, they could have talked to us upfront. We got to know about the approach later on.”
Earlier, GT Team Director Vikram Solanki acknowledged Pandya’s contribution to the team’s success in then last two seasons.
“As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final,” Solanki was quoted as saying in a statement.
“He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” the former England batter further added.
Solanki, who has closely worked with Gill, vouched for his maturity.
“Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing over the last two years at the highest level of the game. We’ve seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket,” Solanki opined.
“His maturity and skill is evident in his on-field performance and we are extremely excited to embark on a new journey with a young leader like Shubman at the helm,” the head of GT think-tank said.
Once Hardik Pandya Pandya’s exit was sure, 24-year-old opener Shubman Gill was an obvious captaincy choice, having got the coveted ‘orange cap’ in the last season with 890 runs, second to only Virat Kohli‘s all-time record of 973. “I am delighted and proud to assume the captaincy of Gujarat Titans and thank the franchise for their trust in me to lead such a fine team. We have had two exceptional seasons and I keenly look forward to leading the team with our exciting brand of cricket,” Gill said in a statement.
Pandya, on his part, took to ‘X’, formerly twitter to express his emotions.
“This brings back so many wonderful memories. Mumbai. Wankhede. Paltan. Feels good to be back,” Pandya commented on ‘X’ on a video depicting his entire journey for Mumbai Indians.
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