Ending months of wait, the Ahmedabad-based Indian Premier League franchise has finally announced its name. The new team which is set to be led by superstar all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be called the Gujarat Titans.
The franchise will be one of two new teams entering the league from the 2022 season as the IPL expands to a ten-team competition. The franchise was purchased by the CVC group for a whopping amount of Rs. 5625 Crore. Alongside them, Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group bought a franchise from Lucknow for Rs. 7090 Crore in October last year.
The Titans’ three pre-auction picks were Pandya, who cost Rs. 15 Crore, is set to captain the team. They have also secured the services of Afghanistan’s star leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who is regarded as the best T20 player in the world for the same amount. Young and talented Indian batter Shubman Gill will also play for Ahmedabad after agreeing to a Rs. 8 Crore contract with the franchise.
Pandya is a four-time IPL winner having played an integral role in making Mumbai Indians (MI) the most successful franchise in the league. The 2022 season will be the first time since making his IPL debut in 2015 that he will not play for the Rohit Sharma-led side in the cash-rich league.
The same is true for both Rashid and Gill who have only played for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively in the league so far. Rashid was with SRH since 2017 while Gill had joined KKR in 2018 after helping India win the U-19 World Cup.
Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra is set to be their head coach while ex-England cricketer Vikram Solanki has been appointed their director of cricket. Meanwhile, India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten will be the mentor and batting coach.
On the other hand, the Goenka-owned franchise will be called the Lucknow Super Giants. They have appointed KL Rahul as the captain with Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi also joining the squad before the mega auction.