Mumbai: After being officially traded to his old franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) from Gujarat Titans (GT), all-rounder Hardik Pandya posted a throwback video after his big transfer to the side where he began his Indian Premier League (IPL) journey in 2015 and said ‘It feels good to be back.’
Pandya took to social media X, recalling the first time he was purchased by the Mumbai Indians for INR 10 lakh at the auction. ‘This brings back so many wonderful memories. Mumbai. Wankhede. Paltan. Feels good to be back,’ he wrote on X.
Hardik’s return marks his homecoming to the #OneFamily where he joins forces again with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and the team. He first came to prominence for MI and then went on to debut for India in 2016.
The five-time champions welcomed Pandya back after a two-year hiatus shortly after the news was officially announced. For those who don’t know, Hardik was released by MI just before the IPL 2022 big auction.
‘Gujarat Titans’ (GT) captain, Hardik Pandya, is set to move back to his first franchise, Mumbai Indians, following a trade between the two franchises,’ read a statement from the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The all-rounder spent two momentous years with GT, spearheading their campaign with aplomb. In GT’s debut season in 2022, Hardik ensured a fairytale start, with the team lifting the coveted trophy, while they finished runners-up in their second season after a last-ball defeat in a thrilling final earlier this year.
In 31 matches for GT, Pandya scored 833 runs at an average of 37.86 and a strike rate of over 133, with six half-centuries and a best score of 87*. He also 11 wickets for the team, with the best figures of 3/17.
Pandya also 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. Pandya has won five IPL trophies, four with MI (2015, 2017, 2019, 2020) and GT (2022).
The return of one of their top players for the IPL 2024 excited team owners Nita and Akash Ambani as well.
In a statement by MI, Nita M Ambani, owner of the franchise said, ‘We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It is 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!’
Speaking about Hardik’s return, Akash Ambani said, ‘Seeing Hardik back at Mumbai Indians makes me very happy. It is a happy homecoming. He provides great balance to any team he plays. Hardik’s first stint with the MI family was hugely successful, and we hope he achieves even more success in his second stint.’