GT stuns with massive Hardik Pandya trade; Is this first time a captain has been traded before a new IPL season?



Stunning reports are coming out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) sphere that the biggest trade in the league’s 16-year history is about to take place. Hours before the closing of the trading window and the deadline for retentions ahead of the 2024 edition, Gujarat Titans (GT) and Mumbai Indians (MI) joined hands for a shocking trade. Hardik Pandya, who led GT to glory in 2022 and the final in 2023, is set to leave the franchise and join MI.

Ahead of the IPL 2024 player auction, the Gujarat-based franchise decided to make its first trade and they picked the face of the franchise to pocket the big bucks. Notably, in response to Pandya’s trade, GT will not swap any players from the five-time champions. This will give GT an amount of INR 15 crores in return and go with a filled suitcase for the auction.

MI may be looking for Rohit Sharma‘s successor, but this will be a huge setback for the Titans as Pandya played a key role in the last two editions. The all-rounder has been picked by GT ahead of the inaugural edition in 2022 and has been appointed as the captain. His contributions as captain and a three-dimensional player have been great for GT.

Is this the first time a captain has been traded before a new IPL season?

While Pandya’s trade is one of the biggest in the league’s history, it is not the first time a captain has moved to another franchise before the new IPL season. This rare scenario has happened twice before. Ahead of the 2020 IPL edition, Delhi Capitals got Ravichandran Ashwin from Punjab Kings, who led them in 2019. The Delhi-based franchise had also traded Ajinkya Rahane from Rajasthan Royals.

The IPL 2024 auction will be held in Dubai on December 19. This is the first time that the IPL auction will be held outside India. Meanwhile, the trade window will close on Sunday, November 26. This means teams must finalize and share their retention list by then. The list of retained and traded players will decide the final purse of all 10 franchises.

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