In 2021, Mumbai Indians and Hardik Pandya parted ways after a long time as the five-time champions released the all-rounder before the mega-auction. It was a shocking decision from the Mumbai franchise as all were expecting Pandya to finish his career at MI given that he is local boy.
Days after his release, Pandya was roped in by Gujarat Titans (GT) who were about to make their debut in the IPL, Pandya was their top pick along with Shubman Gill and Rashid Khan. GT signed Pandya for a massive price of Rs 15 crore.
Pandya went on and won the IPL 2022 leading the Gujarat Titans from the front as their captain in their debut season. Recently, Pandya revealed a shocking story of how he almost signed up for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) who’s captain in KL Rahul, Pandya’s close friend. (Virat Kohli’s Wild Celebration After Scoring Fifty In RCB vs DC Game Goes Viral, Anushka Sharma Overjoyed In Stands – Watch)
“I did get a call from the other franchise (Lucknow Super Giants) as well, which was a new franchise in IPL. Someone who I knew (KL Rahul) was leading the team. For me, it was very important, considering the stage at which I was, where I really wanted to play with a person who has known me,” Hardik said on the Gujarat Titans podcast.
“I always found that people who know me have a different perspective than people who have never come across or come close to me. When I got the opportunity to work with someone I know, I was very keen to go to that side.”
IPL 2023 Gujarat Titans squad
Gujarat Titans (GT) Squad: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Shubman Gill, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, B. Sai Sudharsan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, Pradeep Sangwan, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Mavi, Vijay Shankar , Alzarri Joseph, Mohammad Shami, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Rashid Khan, Yash Dayal, Kane Williamson, Joshua Little, Odean Smith, Urvil Patel, KS Bharat, and Mohit Sharma.