Mahela Jayawardene, addressing the Mumbai Indians’ captaincy change, expressed the emotional challenge behind the decision, highlighting Rohit Sharma’s pivotal role in guiding the team’s future.

A few days ago, Mumbai Indians announced the replacement of veteran captain Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya for the IPL 2024 season. Mahela Jayawardene, the team’s Head of Cricket, described this move as a challenging and emotional decision. Despite the change in leadership, Jayawardene assured fans of Sharma’s ongoing contribution, emphasizing the team’s long-term strategy and the significance of Sharma’s continued involvement.

READ MORE | Backlash and Disappointment: Fan Reactions to Rohit Sharma’s Removal as Mumbai Indians’ Skipper

“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,” Jayawardene said when speaking to Jio Cinema.

“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,” he added.

Jayawardene also clarified that the captaincy shift was a collective choice, drawing a comparison with Sachin Tendulkar’s selfless approach in the early Mumbai Indians era. Reflecting on Tendulkar’s willingness to support new leadership, the coach emphasized a similar direction for the team’s future.

“Mumbai have had that in the past too with Sachin, who played with the youngsters. He gave the leadership to someone else and made sure Mumbai Indians were 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,” Jayawardene concluded.

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Last Updated on December 20, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter