Mumbai Indians have named Hardik Pandya as captain for the Indian Premier League 2024, taking over the reins from Rohit Sharma. Pandya was traded from Gujarat Titans in November, also resulting in Cameron Green's departure to Royal Challengers Bangalore prior to the IPL 2024 Auction.
Pandya made his IPL debut for Mumbai in 2015 and went on to play 92 games for the franchise before moving to Gujarat in 2022. Under his leadership, GT won the title in their very first year. They also finished runners-up in 2023, losing to Chennai Super Kings in the finale. Hence, it came as a big surprise when Pandya announced that he was heading back to Mumbai before the 2024 season.
This announcement brings an end to Rohit's superb 11-season captaincy tenure. Under his captaincy, Mumbai won five titles - 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Rohit is the only captain apart from MS Dhoni to win five IPL titles. Overall, Mumbai played 158 games under him, winning 89 and losing 69 encounters.
MI's Global Head of Performance Mahela Jayawardene said: "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. We welcome Hardik Pandya as the new captain of MI and wish him all the very best."
Mumbai are one of the most successful teams in the history of franchise cricket but haven't quite done well since winning the title in 2020. They couldn't even qualify for the playoffs in 2021 and 2022, and then lost the Qualifier 2 in 2023.