IPL Auction 2024: Mahela Jayawardene Opens Up On Rohit Sharma's Role Under Hardik Pandya's Leadership At Mumbai Indians

Updated - 20 Dec 2023, 12:22 PM

Mahela Jayawardene Opens Up On Rohit Sharma's Role Under Hardik Pandya's Leadership At Mumbai Indians
Phoito Credit: (Twitter/IPL)

Rohit Sharma was replaced by Hardik Pandya as the new captain of Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024. The move was hinted at as a transition within the franchise by head coach Mark Boucher during the IPL 2024 auction.

Rohit Sharma, under whom the franchise won five IPL titles in the last decade will now play as a specialist batter under Hardik’ an all-rounder who was groomed by Rohit under his leadership with the franchise.

Cricket experts and Mumbai Indians fans are questioning the time of this decision saying that the transition could have been much smoother and possibly at a later date. Meanwhile, Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians’ Global Head of Cricket, spoke to Jio Cinema on the sidelines of the IPL 2024 auction on the thought process behind naming Hardik Pandya the new Mumbai Indians captain given his recent history with injuries and his staying out of the national team for some time now.

“This is something we have spoken about as a franchise. It is a tough decision, we had to make them. It is emotional, it is tough, to be honest. But everyone who has been part of Mumbai know 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 in their eyes will think it is too soon, but it is a decision we had to make at some point,” he said.

Also Read: IPL 2024 Auction: Harshal Patel Expected RCB To Release Him; Says He’ll Help PBKS Win Title

Mumbai Indians lost millions of followers on their social media platforms the moment Rohit Sharma was removed as captain. While Jayawardene understood the emotions of fans, he also said that the decisions within the management are the toughest ones to take.

“It’s fair on the fans as well (to react). I think everyone is emotional and we have to respect that as well. But at the same time, as a franchise, you have to make those decisions” he said.

Jayawardene also clarified what will be Rohit Sharma’s role under Hardik Pandya’a captaincy. In the process, he reflected back on how the franchise moved on after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar had relinquished his leadership role and later ensured that the team kept “going in the right direction”.

Rohit Sharma’s Guidance To The Next Generation Is Very Important: Mahela Jayawardene

“Having Ro (Rohit Sharma) in the team, on and off the field to guide the next generation is very important for us. He has been absolutely brilliant. I have worked very closely with Ro. He is a fabulous individual and I am sure he will be part of the legacy who will guide that through. Mumbai have had that in the past too with Sachin (Tendulkar), who played with the youngsters. He gave the leadership to someone else and made sure Mumbai Indians was going in the right direction. It’s the same thing. We had this conversation and everyone is buying into that, so, it’s for us to look forward to the next season,” he said.

Mumbai Indians acquired 8 players in the IPL 2024 auction including Gerald Coetzee (5 cr) and Dilshan Madushanka (4.6 Cr) thus adding a lot of quality to their pace attack and two guys who will be an ideal backup for Jasprit Bumrah.

Also Read: MI Full Squad, Team List, Players List After IPL 2024 Auction

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Hardik Pandya IPL 2024 IPL 2024 Auction Mahela Jayawardene Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma