Hardik Pandya: Former Kolkata team director lashes out at Hardik Pandya's trading
Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) director Joy Bhattacharya is not happy with the move of Indian cricket team all-rounder Hardik Pandya from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. In a recent conversation, Bhattacharya cited the example of Ravindra Jadeja's ban during the 2010 season. Jadeja did not sign a contract with Rajasthan Royals and had pushed hard to move to Mumbai Indians. The former Kolkata Knight Riders team director has said that such a move can be bad for the tournament and encouraging this trend is dangerous as it can set a dangerous precedent for the coming time.
"I don't think it's a good idea for the tournament because something similar happened in 2010. Ravindra Jadeja did not play a season as he wanted to move on and the franchise signed him. He said that he no longer wants to play for Rajasthan Royals and so he was banned for one year because he said you can't break the system.
"If a player suddenly says buy me at the auction, I don't want to play for you... And once you start encouraging this trend then it won't be a good idea to go down that path. That's why it was stopped in 2010. But in 2023, you allowed that to happen to a big player. The truth of it is that once you start allowing it, the players will realise that if they can create so much ruckus, the franchise will leave them... I don't think it's a good precedent for the league."
He also revealed that Gujarat Titans probably had no other option but to let Hardik go to Mumbai Indians as the decision was taken by the player himself.
"Gujarat had two options. They could allow him to go, make some money from the business and get some money for the organization that was enough to retain another big-name player. The other option is that if Hardik says he wants to go, I will get a season of average performance from him. Then he will go away and I won't get anything out of it. So, given the circumstances, Gujarat could not have opted for any other option," he said.
Gujarat Titans made it to the finals of two consecutive seasons while playing under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. Gujarat played for the first time in 2022 and under Hardik's leadership, the team became the champion, while in the 2023 season the team lost to Chennai in the final. At the same time, before the players auction for the 2024 season, Gujarat has traded Hardik Pandya with Mumbai Indians. During this time, Mumbai Indians have also given a transfer amount to Gujarat along with Hardik's fees.
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