The Indian Premier League‘s new franchise, Team Ahmedabad which will make its debut in the upcoming edition, has named the Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya as captain. Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill are the other two draft picks that will join him.
Vikram Solanki, the franchise’s director of cricket has revealed that Hardik and Rashid were chosen for a fee of INR 15 crore each, with Gill will be joining for a fee of INR 8 crore.
Hardik, Rashid and Gill will be playing in the same IPL team for the first time. The all-rounder previously played for the five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, the Afghan international previously played for Sunrisers Hyderabad while Gill was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Hardik was picked by the Mumbai Indians in 2015 as an uncapped player for INR 10 lakh. His sudden rise in international cricket as a formidable all-rounder compelled Mumbai to retain him for the 2018 season, paying him INR 11 crore. Hardik scored 1476 runs at a strike rate of 153.91 and took 42 wickets at a strike rate of 20.69 during his seven-season tenure with the franchise.
However, Hardik did not bowl a single over in the previous season, and his batting figures have significantly dropped, which is the primary reason Mumbai didn’t retain him for the tournament’s 15th season. His fitness issue has also led the Indian management to consider other options for the upcoming ICC events.
Team Ahmedabad mentor, Gary Kirsten, said, “I am looking forward to working with Hardik Pandya, he is raring to go, we are lucky to have a player of his skill.”
Hardik Pandya said, “Super excited to start this new journey for Ahmedabad. I want to take this opportunity to thank the management and the owners for putting their faith in me as the captain of this team. It’s a new era for us and I am excited for what lies ahead. What I can promise is this team will always fight and give their all. A big welcome to Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill, two players whom I know extremely well and will bring a lot to our table.”
One of the biggest talking points following the IPL 2022 retention was the Sunrisers’ failure to hold on to Rashid. He joined SRH for INR 4 crore in 2017 and was re-signed for INR 9 crore ahead of the 2018 season. He appeared in 76 games for the franchise, taking 93 wickets at a 6.33 economy rate.
This will be Gill’s second IPL franchise, having joined Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 auction for INR 1.8 crore. He appeared in 58 games for the team, scoring 1417 runs at an average of 31.48 with 10 half-centuries.
The Ahmedabad-based IPL team will enter the IPL 2022 auction with a remaining purse of INR 52 crore.