Desh Duniya Samachar

Jayawardene mentioned that while it was a challenging and emotional decision for MI to make, the primary focus is on moving forward and constructing a squad capable of winning titles.

Last Tuesday, Mumbai Indians made headlines by appointing Hardik Pandya as the new captain for the upcoming IPL 2024 season, replacing Rohit Sharma, who led the team to five IPL titles since taking over midway through the 2013 season. Hardik was traded back to Mumbai from Gujarat Titans, the team he led to consecutive finals and a debut season victory in 2022, in a recent all-cash deal.

Although the decision seemed logical considering Rohit’s age and declining batting performances, the timing of the announcement surprised many, with the transition expected to be smoother.

Speaking to Jio Cinemas during the IPL 2024 auction in Dubai, Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians’ Global Head of Cricket, admitted that the decision was tough and emotional for the franchise. However, the focus remains on building a squad that can continue the legacy of winning titles.

“We have spoken about this as a franchise. It is a tough decision, emotional, to be honest. Everyone who has been part of Mumbai knows we cherish every moment a player has contributed and will contribute going forward. The legacy is something we want to build on and make sure we keep fighting for those wins, those trophies. As a good unit, we have the skillset to do it. That’s the focus going ahead. Probably everyone will think it is too soon, but it is a decision we had to make at some point,” he stated.

Following the announcement, some fans expressed disappointment on social media, resulting in MI losing followers on platforms like X and Instagram. Jayawardene acknowledged the fans’ emotions and emphasized the necessity for the franchise to make such decisions while respecting the supporters.

Regarding Rohit Sharma’s role in the upcoming season, Jayawardene drew parallels with the transition from Sachin Tendulkar’s leadership, highlighting the importance of having Rohit in the team to guide the next generation. He mentioned how Tendulkar passed on the leadership and ensured the team continued in the right direction, expressing confidence that Rohit would play a similar guiding role for Mumbai Indians in the future.

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