Rohit Sharma, Ritika Sajdeh Attend Daughter Samaira’s Annual Function. Expressions Leave Fans Worried

Cricket

Rohit Sharma and wife Ritika Sajdeh attended the annual function of Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai where their daughter Samaira is currently studying. It was just hours after Rohit was replaced as the Mumbai Indians skipper by Hardik Pandya following the all-rounder’s sensational trade move from Gujarat Titans ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. Rohit was seated among the other parents and according to pictures on social media, Samaira even performed on stage during the function. However, fans were left worried by Rohit and Ritika’s somber expressions at the event and many of them took to social media to draw a direct connection with the loss of captaincy.

The announcement from Mumbai Indians comes after Hardik made a return to the franchise last month, following a high-profile trade from Gujarat Titans, whom he led in the past two seasons.

In a statement, Mumbai Indians said the change in leadership was part of their future planning and thanked Rohit for his exemplary service to the franchise.

Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL franchise alongside Chennai Super Kings who both have won five titles each.

Commenting on Hardik’s appointment, Mahela Jayawardene, Global Head of Performance, Mumbai Indians 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.” Rohit, who recently led India to the ODI World Cup final, had been captaining the franchise since 2013 when they lifted first of their five IPL trophies.

The other titles under Rohit’s captaincy came in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Mumbai Indians had made it to the play-offs in IPL 2023.

“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.

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“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,” added Jayawardene.

Hardik contributed to Mumbai’s glorious run in the IPL, playing a key role in the team’s triumph between 2015 and 2021 before leaving to captain the Titans. He led them to the title on its IPL debut in 2022 and to a runners-up finish earlier this year.

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The significant development also raises questions about Rohit’s future in the shortest format. The 36-year-old was left heartbroken after India fell short in the final hurdle against Australia in the ODI World Cup at home after winning 10 games on the trot.

Another ODI World Cup appearance seems unlikely but he could be back to lead India in the T20 World Cup in six months’ time.

Interestingly, Rohit and Virat Kohli have not turned up for India in the T20 format since the semifinal exit at the World Cup in Australia last year.

(With PTI inputs)

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