Thursday, February 29, 2024

The ‘Royal Challengers Bangalore factor’ in Hardik Pandya’s return to Mumbai Indians

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Mumbai Indians secured Hardik Pandya through an all-cash deal with Gujarat Titans. It is one of the biggest trades in the history of the Indian Premier League as Hardik has a price tag of INR 15 crore, an amount that was paid by GT when they bought the player for their first-ever IPL season in 2022. Mumbai Indians must be a happy side after the recent trade but it would not have been possible had there not been a ‘Royal Challengers Bangalore factor’ in it.

After announcing the list of the players retained, MI on Sunday had INR 15.25 crore of the remaining purse with 8 vacant spots in the squad. Had Mumbai roped in Hardik from GT, they would have been left with a mere sum of INR 25 lakh going into the IPL 2023 auction.

However, RCB bought Cameron Green from MI in an all-cash deal, providing Mumbai the cushion for the Hardik trade.

The transfer of Green gave a huge boost to Mumbai’s purse due to which the franchise still has a total of INR 17.75 crore to its credit despite securing Hardik.

Mumbai Indians currently have 17 players — one less than the minimum bar set by IPL — in their squad and they can fill a maximum of 8 more players. Out of the available 8 slots, MI can buy a maximum of 2 overseas players.

It is worth noting that Hardik had made his IPL debut way back in 2015 with Mumbai Indians.

Hardik played 92 matches for MI from 2015-2021, scoring 1,476 runs at an average of 27.33 at a strike rate of over 153, with four half-centuries and best score of 91. He also took 42 wickets for the team, with the best bowling figures of 3/20.


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