(Image source from: Instagram.com/hardikpandya93)
In what could potentially become the most talked about trade in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), all-rounder Hardik Pandya is currently engaged in discussions with Mumbai Indians, the five-time IPL champions, for a surprising return. Pandya initially began his IPL career with Mumbai Indians in 2015, and now multiple reports have confirmed that the team is in talks with him to bring him back, as they envision him as a long-term captain. The proposed trade is expected to involve a cash-only transaction, with Mumbai Indians prepared to invest Rs 15 crore in acquiring the star all-rounder.
The final decision regarding the deal's completion is likely to be made only in the final hours of the trading day deadline, which falls on Sunday. At present, it remains uncertain whether Pandya's return to Mumbai Indians would result in him playing under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma for a year in the upcoming IPL season. Pandya has been leading the Indian team in T20Is for a significant portion of 2023, while Rohit Sharma's last appearance in this format was during the semi-final of the T20 World Cup last year. Additionally, for the trade to materialize, Mumbai Indians will need to release more than one high-profile player in order to secure sufficient funds, as they currently only possess a meager sum of Rs 5,00,000.
In the event that the return to fitness appears grim, it is possible that the Mumbai franchise could be compelled to release a player such as Ishan Kishan (worth Rs 15.25) or even Jofra Archer (worth Rs 8 crore). Additionally, there is talk of Gujarat desiring Cameron Green and another player. However, sources have downplayed the notion of a direct trade between Pandya and Sharma. It is worth noting that Sharma holds the distinction of being the most successful captain in IPL history, having led MI to five titles.