Mumbai Indians incur huge social-media blow as Hardik replaces Rohit as captain | Cricket

Fans have been left utterly disappointed and gutted post the big announcement made by Mumbai Indians on Friday with Hardik Pandya named as the new captain for the IPL 2024 season, thus drawing curtains on Rohit Sharma’s 10-year-long leadership. While some expressed their displeasure through words on social media, criticising MI’s call, just four days before the mini-auction in Dubai, few fans were seen burning Mumbai Indians jerseys and caps, videos of which went viral on the internet. Amid the strong reaction from their fans, MI also faced a massive social-media blow within the opening hour of their captaincy announcement.

Hardik Pandya was named as the new Mumbai Indians captain on Friday

Mumbai Indians is among the most followed franchises on each of the social-media platforms, standing only narrowly behind Chennai Super Kings. On Friday, hours before the big revelation, MI had 8.6 million followers on X, which reduced to 8.2 within an hour as the five-time champions lost four lakh followers. It has also been noticed that Mumbai lost close to five lakh followers on Instagram since Friday evening, with their current figure standing as 12.7 million.

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Rohit had been the captain of Mumbai Indians since 2013 when midway through the season Ricky Ponting had stepped down owing to his faltering batting numbers. MI won their maiden IPL title season, beating Chennai in the final, before lifting the presently-defunct Champions League T20 title as well. Mumbai also won the IPL in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. During his tenure, Rohit the led the franchise to 87 wins in 158 IPL matches, which is the most by any captain in the time frame. Dhoni stands second on that list with 82 wins.

“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,” Mahela Jayawardene, Global Head of Performance, Mumbai Indians said.

Hardik, who made his debut in IPL for MI in 2015 as an uncapped Indian player, was released by the franchise back in 2022 when Gujarat Titans had signed him as their captain. The strar all-rounder led the debutants to a title haul that year befor ending as the runner-up in 2023.

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