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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Tendulkar hands over Mumbai Indians' captaincy to Harbhajan

Tendulkar hands over Mumbai Indians' captaincy to Harbhajan

Last updated on: April 02, 2012 19:34 IST

Sachin Tendulkar will no longer lead Mumbai Indians.

In a surprising decision, the Master Blaster handed over the responsibility to Harbhajan Singh.

The off-spinner, who led Mumbai to the Champions League T20 title last September, will captain the side in the fifth edition of the tournament.

"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.

Sachin Tendulkar"After due consideration, I discussed my intention to hand over the captainship of the team to Harbhajan Singh, with Mukeshbhai and Nitabhabhi. I was touched by the graciousness and wholehearted support they offered me while emphasising 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, said Tendulkar, explaining his decision in a statement from the franchise.

Franchise owner Nita Ambani, meanwhile, said, "It was a very 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 Bhajii as he takes on the responsibility of captaining Mumbai Indians."

Speaking on his appointment, Harbhajan said: Sachinpaaji 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 Nitabhabhi for the faith reposed in my abilities.

"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."

Mumbai Indians open their campaign against holders Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Thursday in the opening match of the tournament.