New Delhi: Gujarat Titans on Monday appointed Shubman Gill as their captain for the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) following Hardik Pandya's decision to move back to Mumbai Indians.
Titans will receive Rs 15 crore from Mumbai Indians for the all-cash trade deal apart from a hefty undisclosed transfer fee, a part of which will also go to the cricketer.
Once Pandya's exit was sure, 24-year-old opener Gill was an obvious captaincy choice, having got the coveted 'orange cap' in the last season with 890 runs, second to only Virat Kohli's all-time record of 973.
"I am delighted and proud to assume the captaincy of Gujarat Titans and thank the franchise for their trust in me to lead such a fine team. We have had two exceptional seasons and I keenly look forward to leading the team with our exciting brand of cricket," Gill said in a statement.
Pandya, on his part, took to 'X' to express his emotions.
"This brings back so many wonderful memories. Mumbai. Wankhede. Paltan. Feels good to be back," Pandya commented on 'X' on a video depicting his entire journey for Mumbai Indians.
Titans Team Director Vikram Solanki acknowledged Pandya's contribution to the team's success in then last two seasons.
"As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final," Solanki was quoted as saying in a statement.
"He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours," the former England batter further added.
Solanki, who has closely worked with Gill, vouched for his maturity.
"Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing over the last two years at the highest level of the game. We've seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket," Solanki opined.
"His maturity and skill is evident in his on-field performance and we are extremely excited to embark on a new journey with a young leader like Shubman at the helm," he said.
Mumbai Indians owners Nita Ambani and Akash Ambani both termed Pandya's return as a "happy homecoming".
"We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It's a heartwarming reunion with our Mumbai Indians family! From being a young scouted talent of Mumbai Indians to now being a Team India star, Hardik has come a long way and we're excited for what the future holds for him and Mumbai Indians," Mrs Ambani said.
Her son Akash spoke about the balance that the all-rounder lends to any team.
"It is a happy homecoming. He provides great balance to any team he plays. Hardik's first stint with the MI family was hugely successful, and we hope he achieves even more success in his second stint," Ambani junior said.