Reports: Hardik Pandya agreed to come to Mumbai Indians only as captain

In a surprising development, Hardik Pandya is set to take over as captain of the Mumbai Indians for the upcoming IPL 2024 season. This news has caused a buzz in the cricket world and adds another chapter to the dynamic history of the Mumbai Indians’ leadership.

According to sources, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma was informed of this change at the beginning of the World Cup. Pandya reportedly laid down a condition that if he’s back in the squad, he’s taking charge. Sharma was reportedly on board with the plan, and the franchise had a series of discussions with him during the World Cup regarding their vision for the future and the need for a change in leadership.

Mahela Jayawardene, the global head of performance for Mumbai Indians, shed light on the decision in a press release.

“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,” Mahela said.

This move is reminiscent of 2013 when Mumbai Indians turned to Rohit Sharma mid-season to salvage a disappointing start. It resulted in their first-ever IPL title, and since then, Sharma has etched his name as one of the finest captains in IPL history.

Hardik Pandya, having captained Gujarat Titans, returns to Mumbai, where his cricketing journey began in 2015. Reflecting on his journey, Pandya said,

“The feeling of coming back to Mumbai is very special for a lot of reasons. How my cricketing journey started in 2015 with MI, them noticing me in 2013. When I look back, the whole span of 10 years has been something very special. It has not sunk in yet that I’m finally back where my whole cricketing journey started. I have achieved all the possible things,” as quoted by Indian Express.