Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) sprang a surprise by naming Hardik Pandya as their captain for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 in place of Rohit Sharma on Friday
On Friday, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) sprang a surprise by naming Hardik Pandya as their captain for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 in place of Rohit Sharm. There were speculations about Rohit Sharma losing the MI captaincy from the time Hardik Pandya was brought back from Gujarat Titans. Hardik made a return to the franchise last month, following a high-profile trade from Gujarat Titans, whom he led in the past two seasons. After announcing the news of the captaincy change, MI put a heartfelt post on social media for Rohit.
“Ro, In 2013 you took over as captain of MI. You asked us to Believe. In victories & defeats, you asked us to Smile. 10 years & 6 trophies later, here we are. Our forever captain your legacy will be etched in Blue & Gold. Thank you, Captain RO,” wrote MI on X, formerly Twitter.
On Saturday, Mumbai Indians’ prominent member Suryakumar Yadav posted a heartbreak emoji on X, which went viral as many social media users related to the captaincy change at the IPL franchise.
No one Can replace him in Mi team captaincy
Mumbai Indians Be Ready Your Downfall is just on the Way .
#RohitSharma #MSDhoni#MumbaiIndianspic.twitter.com/yGj7xVHb7E— 𝘚 (@Swetha_little_) December 16, 2023
A selfless player like you shouldn’t be too worried about captaincy— Pushkar (@musafir_hu_yar) December 16, 2023
WE WANT CAPTAIN ROHIT SHARMA BACK.— MI Fans Army (@MIFansArmy) December 16, 2023
In a statement on Friday, Mumbai Indians said the change in leadership was part of their future planning and thanked Rohit for his exemplary service to the franchise.
Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL franchise alongside Chennai Super Kings who both have won five titles each.
Rohit, who recently led India to the ODI World Cup final, had been captaining the franchise since 2013 when they lifted first of their five IPL trophies.
The other titles under Rohit’s captaincy came in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Mumbai Indians had made it to the play-offs in IPL 2023.
“We express our gratitude to Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership; his tenure as the captain of the Mumbai Indians since 2013 has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mahela Jayawardene, MI’s Global Head of Performance.
“His leadership has not only brought unparalleled success to the team but has also solidified his place as one of the finest captains in the history of the IPL.
“Under his guidance, MI became one of the most successful and loved teams ever. We will look forward to his guidance and experience on and off the field to further strengthen MI,” he added.
The significant development also raises questions about Rohit’s future in the shortest format. The 36-year-old was left heartbroken after India fell short in the final hurdle against Australia in the ODI World Cup at home after winning 10 games on the trot.
Another ODI World Cup appearance seems unlikely but he could be back to lead India in the T20 World Cup in six months’ time.
Interestingly, Rohit and Virat Kohli have not turned up for India in the T20 format since the semifinal exit at the World Cup in Australia last year.