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

'It was a tough, emotional decision': Mahela Jayawardene on replacing Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as Mumbai Indians captain | Cricket News - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Mumbai Indians (MI) Global Head of Cricket, Mahila Jayawardeneaddressed the challenging decision to change. Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya As the team captain.
Acknowledging the emotional response from fans, Jayawardene stressed the need for a decision for the future of the franchise.
In an interview with JIO Cinema, Jayawardene shared an insight into the decision-making process. “It was a tough decision. It was emotional to be honest. It’s fair to the fans (to react). I think everyone is emotional and we have to respect that. But also a franchise. As in. You have to make these decisions,” he said.
Jayawardene highlighted that Rohit Sharma will continue to play an important 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 to us. He has been absolutely brilliant. I am sure he will be part of the legacy that he will lead through,” Jayawardene confirmed.

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

Rohit Sharma sacked as captain of Mumbai Indians? Hardik Pandya appointed new captain of IPL 2024

Drawing parallels with leadership transitions seen with athletes Sachin TendulkarJayawardene emphasized the importance of senior players like Rohit Sharma playing a role in the direction of the team and mentoring the younger players.
“Sachin played with the youth. He handed over the leadership and made sure that Mumbai Indians were going in the right direction. It’s the same thing. We had that conversation and everyone is buying it. It is for us to wait for that. Next season,” concluded Jayawardene.
(with inputs from PTI)

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