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GT's massive trade of Hardik Pandya stuns social media; What is IPL Trade Window and how does it work?

Hardik Pandya is the third captain to be traded ahead of a new IPL season. Ravichandran Ashwin from Punjab Kings and Ajinkya Rahane from Rajasthan Royals were earlier part of the move.

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Mathew K
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Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

Reports of Hardik Pandya returning to his first home (Mumbai Indians) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) have shocked the cricketing world. Gujarat Titans (GT) have reportedly confirmed their first trade - the captain who led them to glory in the 2022 IPL. The biggest trade in the league's 16-year history was hours before the closing of the trading window and the deadline for retentions ahead of the IPL 2024 edition.

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The star all-rounder was released by Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of the 2022 IPL Mega Auction. Later, Titans acquired him for a sum of Rs 15 crore and appointed him as the captain in their inaugural campaign. Pandya's team won the title in the first edition and then finished runners-up in the 2023 edition. However, in a surprising turn of events, Pandya is all set to return to MI as GT has reportedly completed an all-cash deal. 

The 30-year-old is the third captain to be traded ahead of a new IPL season. Ahead of the 2020 edition of IPL, Delhi Capitals bought Ravichandran Ashwin from Punjab Kings and Ajinkya Rahane from Rajasthan Royals. However, the latest development has caused a lot of confusion among cricket fans regarding the IPL trading window. This article will explain the process in detail.

What is IPL trading window and how does it work?

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The IPL trading window is a period in which all franchises are allowed to trade their players before each auction. Once the trading is complete, the franchises will announce the list of retained and released players for the upcoming IPL edition. While the released players will go under the hammer on the auction day, the post-release amount will be added to the franchises' purse, allowing them to make better buys. 

The trading of players can be done by swapping the players between franchises or by buying a player on cash. The second method is called the all-cash deal which happened exactly in Pandya's case. The buying team has to pay the price of the player on which he was bought at the auction plus an undisclosed amount which is the trading fee. Notably, half of the trading fee amount also goes to the player. Here, GT has to pay Rs 15 crore (his bid amount) to MI and trading fees, half of which will be in Pandya's pocket. 

There may be a situation where multiple franchises want to buy a player from another. In such cases, the franchise selling the player has the right to choose which franchise to sell the cricketer to. 

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