IPL 2024: Hardik Pandya takes over from Rohit Sharma in Mumbai Indians; social media reacts

The IPL franchise holds the record for being the joint most successful team under 'the Hitman', with five titles

Hardik Pandya came back to Mumbai Indians from the Gujarat Titans after much drama (photo: @hardikpandya7/ X)
Hardik Pandya came back to Mumbai Indians from the Gujarat Titans after much drama (photo: @hardikpandya7/ X)

NH Sports Bureau

After 10 years and five IPL (Indian Premier League) trophies, the Rohit Sharma era is set to end in Mumbai Indians as the franchise named allrounder Hardik Pandya as the new captain for the 2024 season on Friday. The ‘Hitman’ will, however, continue as a player as he has been retained by the franchise. 

Announcing the significant change in leadership, Mahela Jayawardene, global head of performance, Mumbai Indians, said in a statement: “It is part of legacy building and staying true to the MI philosophy of being future-ready. Mumbai Indians have always been blessed with exceptional leadership right from Sachin to Harbhajan and Ricky to Rohit, who while contributing to the immediate success have always had an eye on strengthening the team for the future. It is in keeping with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya will assume captaincy of Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2024 season.

‘’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. 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.’’

The Mumbai Paltan, which won the IPL under Rohit’s captaincy in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, jointly hold the record of being the most successful team in the history of the league with Chennai Super Kings. They are also the only team apart from CSK to have won back-to-back trophies. 

This could be one reason why hashtags such as "shame on MI" began doing the rounds as soon as the news was announced, with accusations of "cruel treatment" being levelled at MI. Some social media users even wondered whether Pandya's much publicised and protracted return to MI from Gujarat Titans was somehow related to the latest development, with a promise of captaincy to sweeten the deal.

The MI decision certainly puts a question mark on the 36-year-old India captain’s inclination to continue in the shortest format of the game. Incidentally, Virat Kohli had also stepped down from the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the 2022 season, with South African Faf du Plessis stepping into the role.

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