Rohit Sharma, Ritika Sajdeh attend daughter Samaira’s annual function. Expressions leave fans concerned

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

The announcement by the Mumbai Indians comes after Hardik returned to the franchise last month following a high-profile trade from the Gujarat Titans, whom he managed for 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.

The Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL franchise along with the Chennai Super Kings, both of whom have won five titles each.

“It is in line with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya takes over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2024 season.”

Rohit, who recently led India to the ODI World Cup final, had captained the franchise since 2013 when they lifted the 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 playoffs of IPL 2023.

“We express our gratitude to Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership; his tenure as captain of Mumbai Indians since 2013 has been nothing short of extraordinary.

“His leadership has not only brought unparalleled success to the team but has also cemented his place as one of the best captains in the history of the IPL.

“Under his guidance, MI became one of the most successful and beloved teams ever. We 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 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 departing as captain of the Titans. He led them to the title on their IPL debut in 2022 and to a runner-up finish earlier this year.

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 at the final hurdle against Australia in the ODI World Cup at home after winning 10 matches 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 semi-final exit at the World Cup in Australia last year.

(With PTI inputs)

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