CHENNAI: Sachin Tendulkar decided to hand over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians in the fifth edition of IPL to Harbhajan Singh following a discussion with the management of Mumbai Indians.
"Sachin Tendulkar in discussion with the management of Mumbai Indians has decided to hand over the responsibilities of captaining Mumbai Indians in fifth season of the Indian Premier League to ace off spinner Harbhajan Singh," a press release issued by Mumbai Indians stated.
"The Mumbai Indians is more than a team. It is like a family to me. At this point of time, I feel I need a break from the responsibility of captaincy of the Mumbai Indians. After due consideration, I discussed my intention to hand over the Captainship of the team to Harbhajan Singh, with Mukeshbhai and Nitabhabhi," Tendulkar was quoted in the media release.
Tendulkar further stated, "I was touched by the graciousness and wholehearted support they offered me while emphasing that they would accept any decision which helps me to continue enjoying the game. Harbhajan will have my wholehearted support as the senior most player in the team."
Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani termed it as a "difficult moment when Sachin expressed his desire to relinquish the captaincy."
"But we believe that Sachin is the best judge on such matters and hence, as always, we fully support his decison. I have learnt a lot during the last three seasons working with Sachin closely. Sachin is the soul of Mumbai Indians, and I am sure he will guide Bhajji as he takes on the responsibility of captaining Mumbai Indians," Nita Ambani said.
Harbhajan termed this as a "huge honour" as he thanked Sachin and Mrs Ambani for entrusting this responsibility.
"Sachin paaji spoke to me about his decision of wanting me to take over the responsibility of the team. It is huge honour and I thank Paaji and Nita Bhabhi for the faith reposed in my abilities", he said.
"Mumbai Indians is a great team with explosive talent and promising youngsters. I am committed to do the very best and look forward to leading the team to play to its full potential during the season," Harbhajan added.