New Delhi: The 2024 IPL could well be Rohit Sharma’s last as a player in the Mumbai Indians jersey after the popular franchise announced Hardik Pandya as its skipper on Friday.
For Rohit, it has always been about fierce loyalty, having captained Mumbai in 11 editions and leading them to five trophies.
In 2025, there will be mega auctions and it is now more than clear that Rohit is no longer in Mumbai Indians’ scheme of things going forward. The IPL Governing Council will allow retention of four players — 3 Indians and 1 overseas.
By common logic, the three Indians retained by MI in all likelihood would be Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah. One slot belongs to a foreign recruit.
However, what happens if Rohit has a great IPL this year and subsequently a satisfying T20 World Cup, where he can’t be ruled out leading the national team.
Interesting times are ahead as Hardik, himself, having led India in most T20s post 2022 T20 World Cup, would like to continue leading the national team in the shortest format.
Rohit has many times said that he would never play for any other franchise save MI but will he change his mind as there is one IPL franchise from northern India that could well offer him a blank cheque just to be the mentor-cum-captain of the side.
In a ruthless world of franchise cricket, the absence of a quote from one of the greatest IPL captains in a banal media statement issued by Mumbai Indians was striking. Though the global head of coaching Mahela Jayawardene did thank Rohit for his contribution.
Only 48 hours ago, Rohit had spoken about the motivation to take one more shot at ultimate global prize on his instagram page.
For someone who poured his heart out for his fans, the Indian skipper could have well spelt out his IPL future plans.
The last three IPL seasons haven’t gone MI’s way as Hardik wasn’t fully fit in 2021, Jasprit Bumrah dealt with a back injury and also a big investment in Jofra Archer never really paid off.
All these things did affect MI’s performance and also Rohit’s stats as MI skipper.
But unless Rohit spells it out explicitly, it would be very difficult to gauge what kind of communication franchise has had with one of its in-house legends.
Those tracking developments at MI wondered why Rohit wasn’t given a chance to step down himself.
Hardik taking on mantle of captaincy is likely to free up Rohit, the batter, who would now just be the ‘Hit Man’ and if he retains the motivation, who knows one might see him playing another season, albeit in a different jersey.
(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)