Can Rohit Sharma move out of Mumbai Indians after IPL 2024 player auction?

Mini auction takes place at Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on Tuesday

Rohit Sharma is no longer the captain of Mumbai Indians. Sportzpics for IPL
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The IPL 2024 is a few months away but we can already hear the T20 behemoth approaching. The IPL player auction is as boisterous and attention-grabbing as the main event, bringing with it the possibility of altering player’s career forever with one strike from the auctioneer’s gavel.

For the first time, the IPL auction takes place outside India – at the magnificent Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on Tuesday, December 19.

It is a mini-auction, where only a handful of slots in each franchise are up for grabs.

However, these mini-auctions tend to throw up incredible results as franchises have decent-sized purses to spend on a handful of names.

This year, a total of 333 players will go under the hammer for 77 slots across 10 teams. Teams have an auction purse raging from $1.5 million to $4.6m.

But that is not the only big news coming out of IPL. Before the auction, all-rounder Hardik Pandya left Gujarat Titans in a bombshell move and returned to Mumbai Indians as captain, taking over from the well-established Rohit Sharma, who led the franchise to five titles.

The trade sent shockwaves across the league as it was done in a clandestine manner, with many associated with the league taken aback by the turn of events.

Speculation has since grown about a proven performer like Sharma moving out of the Mumbai team and setting up base in another franchise.

Can IPL players still be traded?

The IPL trading window closed on December 12 – one week before the player auction – and will reopen a day after the auction i.e. Wednesday, December 20.

Players can then be traded up until February 2024 – one month before the start of the season. So, players can still switch teams before the next edition in March-May.

Can Rohit Sharma move out of Mumbai Indians?

Well, yes and no. Technically, the Indian captain can ask to be traded from Wednesday onwards. However, he apparently is tied to Mumbai Indians on a three-year contract and is likely to remain in blue at least until 2025.

But, given the way Pandya was acquired from Gujarat – Mumbai paying the Titans an undisclosed fee, which is now being seen as the first big case of transfer fee in IPL – anything seems possible, especially if franchises have deep enough pockets and a determination to make it happen.

Which teams could Rohit Sharma go to?

Delhi Capitals were reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Rohit, given that Rishabh Pant is still some way away from regaining full fitness following a serious car accident.

However, Mumbai apparently refused the trade. Delhi have a seasoned management in Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, so there is great pedigree in the capital city to be a part of.

Chennai Super Kings could be another lucrative option, given that their stalwart MS Dhoni has a serious knee problem and is unlikely to remain a player for much longer. Being part of a iconic team like Chennai, who are known to put their star players on a pedestal, will be quite tempting.

Updated: December 19, 2023, 5:06 AM