New Delhi: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting will lead Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League's sixth edition beginning April 3.
Sachin Tendulkar was expected to lead the side following Harbhajan Singh's resignation but the team management has gone ahead with Ponting.
Ponting, who retired from international cricket in December, was bought for a base price of $400,000 at the IPL auction held last month.
"It's a huge honour and I thank Mrs Nita Ambani and the Mumbai Indians management for the faith they have reposed in my abilities. Mumbai Indians has a potent combination of Indian and international cricketers and I look forward to leading the team to play to its full potential," Ponting said on his appointment.
Chief mentor Anil Kumble said: "Ricky has a lot of experience to lead a competitive and a high-profile side like Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Sachin readily agreed to my suggestion that Mumbai Indians is best served when he leads the batting unburdened by the rigours of captaincy. It was our idea (Sachin and mine) to bring in Ricky as the captain."
Earlier Thursday, Ponting also signed a two-year deal with English county Surrey.