Rohit Sharma: ‘It was a tough, emotional decision’: Mahela Jayawardene on replacing Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as Mumbai Indians captain | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Mumbai Indians (MI) global head of cricket, Mahela Jayawardene, addressed the challenging decision to replace Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as the team’s captain.
Acknowledging the emotional response from the fans, Jayawardene emphasized the necessity of the decision for the franchise’s future.
In an interview with JIO Cinema, Jayawardene shared insights into the decision-making process. “It was a tough decision. It was emotional, to be honest. 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 stated.
Jayawardene highlighted that Rohit Sharma will continue to play a vital role in the team despite the change in leadership.

“Having Rohit in the team, on and off the field to guide the next generation is very important for us. He has been absolutely brilliant. I am sure he will be part of the legacy who will guide that through,” Jayawardene affirmed.

The decision to appoint Hardik Pandya as captain was based on meaningful conversations and the desire to build on the franchise’s legacy.
“Probably, everyone in their eyes will think it is too soon, but it is a decision we had to make at some point,” Jayawardene explained.
He highlighted that Pandya’s familiarity with the MI dressing room and his experience as a leader at Gujarat made him a suitable fit for the role.
“Hardik (Pandya) has been in the dressing room for quite some time, so that’s nothing new. We know what he brings in as an all-rounder. It will be something different with his experience of leading the team at Gujarat, so, it is an opportunity to build on that,” Jayawardene added.

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Drawing parallels with the transition of leadership seen with players like Sachin Tendulkar, Jayawardene emphasized the importance of having senior players like Rohit Sharma contribute to the team’s direction and mentor the younger players.
“Sachin 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. It’s for us to look forward to the next season,” Jayawardene concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)


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