Mumbai Indians (MI) confirmed Hardik Pandya's return from Gujarat Titans ahead of the Indian Premier League 2024 as the world eagerly awaited confirmation of IPL's most mind-boggling trade. In yet another surprising development, the five-time champions also announced that they have traded Cameron Green to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
While Hardik’s return to MI was the talk of the town for quite some time, Green’s sudden trade to RCB raised many eyebrows. At the IPL 2023 auctions, MI had acquired the Australian all-rounder for a staggering Rs 17.5 crore.
Nevertheless, he gave his best there, having accumulated 452 runs at a tremendous strike rate of 160.28 in his debut season.
Given the trading between Mumbai and Gujarat has been an all-cash deal, 30-year-old Pandya will get a salary of Rs 15 crore at MI. Pandya will also get 50 per cent of the undisclosed transfer given to GT by MI.
Notably, Mumbai had just Rs 15.25 crore in their kitty after releasing ten players, including English pacer Jofra Archer. But with Green moving to RCB, they have Rs 17.25 crore as their remaining purse ahead of the IPL 2024 auction on December 19 in Dubai. A huge favour made by RCB to MI!
But who knows what happens under the table?
Even commentator and cricket analyst Aakash Chopra agreed that this trade helped MI. In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Chopra expressed the view that MI benefited from RCB’s acquisition of Green
“Green has turned red, or more accurately, the RCB has turned green. They did Mumbai a big favour because the Hardik deal would not have taken place if this deal had not gone through. Everything has rapidly changed.”
“It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to stop that (Hardik’s) deal by not doing this (Green’s) deal. I’m looking at it from Bangalore’s viewpoint, not Mumbai’s. Green would have been freed by them (MI). If Cameron Green had been free, you could have paid more than 17.5 crores for him?”
Chopra agreed that the addition of the effective all-rounder has given the RCB’s batting unit more depth and power. Still, he pointed out that it would mean they would only have one spot open for a foreign bowler, given that Green, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell will probably be in the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, with Green’s recruitment, the initial budget of the Red & Gold Brigade has been reduced from 40.75 crore to 23.25 crore. At the same time, Hardik's cash deal has increased GT's remaining budget to INR 38.15 crore before they head to upcoming auctions, scheduled to take place in Dubai on December 19.