The entirety of the IPL fandom was in shock when Hardik Pandya secured a transfer from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians, where he initially started his career and won three titles with. Hardik was released by Mumbai Indians ahead of the mega auction in 2022 and he was drafted in by Gujarat Titans and also given leadership duties. Under him they went on to win the title in their inaugural campaign and in the next season they again made it to the final. Just ahead of the IPL 2024 season, Hardik secured a trade move to MI in an all-cash deal and an undisclosed transfer fee. GT got nothing out of the deal except for the transfer fee and it remaining 'undisclosed' raised a few eyebrows. 'Will Forever Hold A Special Place' Hardik Pandya Pens Down Emotional Note For Gujarat Titans Fans After Trade Move to Mumbai Indians Ahead of IPL 2024 Season.
MI cramped their purse ahead of the auction at the time of securing the trade as they only had 0.25 crores remaining in the purse. But it was short lived as soon it was revealed that MI traded Cameron Green to RCB for an all-cash deal and has received his 17.5 crore, added up to their purse. So, after all the twists and turns, MI came out as the winners of the three-way trade, while GT lost their captain and RCB ended up overpaying for someone they could have secured from auction at a slightly cheaper price. As the dust settles down, we try to look at the implications of the entire scenario.
The IPL: As It Was
When IPL first came to the fore, being the brainchild of Lalit Modi, he made sure that there isn't a way to recruit players going around the set salary cap. The auction was kept only to ensure that, where the integrity and transparency of the entire recruitment will be based on the market demand and the according supply. Although IPL initially had a few rules where some signings could be done outside the auction but it was revoked eventually. Star Indian Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja was banned from playing in IPL 2010 because he was reportedly looking at offers from other franchises. In the statements released by the then IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, it was strictly mentioned blackmailing any teams or the IPL or BCCI will not be tolerated.
The IPL: As It Will Be
The whole act of auction-based recruitment was to maintain the balance of power and keep the league competitive for all, opening space for merit of strategy and performance to prevail rather than the raw power of wealth of few owners. Now, with Hardik's transfer like the way it has happened, has destabilized the base of the balance. In an interview given to Oaktree Sports, former KKR director Joy Bhattacharjya has heavily criticised the move and explained why this move might have a domino effect and more players, unhappy in any way with their franchise or in search of a bigger salary will force their franchise to let them go and it will create a chaos in the entire system. Former KKR Director Joy Bhattacharjya Slams Hardik Pandya For Forcing Trade Move to Mumbai Indians From Gujarat Titans Ahead of IPL 2024 Season (Watch Video).
After a rich 15 years, IPL has become dear to all the cricket fans in India. IPL is like festive season, a festival of cricket. It holds on to it's audience through the breathtaking action it offers and the competitiveness of every match throughout the league. If the power core shifts to a few selected franchises, it will heavily affect the competitiveness of the league, the profitability of the franchises as well as system will be on the verge of breaking down and something like Football's Financial Fair Play will be needed to be introduced. From that aspect, Hardik Pandya's trade window move from Gujarat Titans from Mumbai Indians might be a stone thrown to the center of the lake of chaos which will create ripple effects that will hit the shore of IPL some years down the line.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 28, 2023 11:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).