New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS): Gujarat Titans director Vikram Solanki on Monday stated that they respect Hardik Pandya's decision to move to Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024 after the much-anticipated trade was confirmed by the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The double trade of Hardik rejoining MI while Cameron Green was traded by the 5-time champions to Royal Challengers Bangalore was confirmed by the IPL on Monday after the early rumours.
Vikram Solanki, in a statement released on Monday, wished Hardik the best for his future and revealed the all-rounder wanted a move away from the franchise.
"As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one TATA IPL championship and one appearance in the final. 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," Solanki said.
While Hardik expressed delight over his homecoming, Mumbai Indians co-owner Nita Ambani welcomed Hardik back to the franchise where he made his IPL debut and eventually went on to become an India cricketer.
"We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It’s a heartwarming reunion with our Mumbai Indians family! From being a young scouted talent of Mumbai Indians to now being a team India star, Hardik has come a long way and we’re excited for what the future holds for him and Mumbai Indians!” said Nita Ambani.
Following their debut season under Hardik Pandya's captaincy, Gujarat Titans won the Championship title in IPL 2022, they made it to the final of the 2023 Indian Premier League, where they narrowly lost to Chennai Super Kings in a closely contested summit match at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
The senior national selection committee chose Hardik Pandya as T20I captain when Rohit Sharma wasn't available because of his meteoric ascent at Gujarat Titans. As the T20 World Cup approaches next year, Hardik is a strong candidate to take Rohit's spot as India's captain.
However, the question remains unanswered whether Hardik will be seen leading the Mumbai side or it will be Rohit Sharma who also got retained by the MI.