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NEW DELHI: Gujarat Titans said on Monday opener Shubman Gill would captain the side in next year’s Indian Premier League after they allowed Hardik Pandya to return to Mumbai Indians, his first IPL team.

Pandya, who helped Mumbai to four IPL titles between 2015-2021, led Gujarat to the IPL title in their debut season in 2022 and was also captain of the squad that finished runners-up to Chennai Super Kings.

Mumbai also sent Australia all-rounder Cameron Green, who they bought for 175 million Indian rupees ($2.10 million) last year, to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Pandya’s move to Mumbai puts an additional 150 million rupees in Gujarat’s coffers, which could come in handy at the player auction in Dubai on Dec. 19.

“He has expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians,” Vikram Solanki, Gujarat’s director of cricket, said in a statement.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.”

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Pandya’s departure sees his India team mate Gill take the captain’s arm-band at Gujarat and Solanki said the opener had shown “growth in stature and standing over the last two years”.

“We’ve seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket,” he added.

“His contribution on the field has helped Gujarat Titans emerge as a formidable force… “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.”

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