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MI’s Captaincy Switch: AB de Villiers Addresses Fan Exodus And Pandya’s Return
By CricShots - Dec 16, 2023 10:39 pm
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The Mumbai Indians’ decision to appoint Hardik Pandya as their captain for the upcoming IPL 2024 season has sparked a wave of mixed reactions among the team’s passionate fanbase. While some are excited by the prospect of the dynamic all-rounder leading the charge, others have expressed disappointment, leading to a significant drop in social media followers and murmurs of discontent.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya

The announcement of Pandya’s captaincy, just on the heels of the franchise acquiring him through an all-cash deal from Gujarat Titans, triggered an immediate backlash on social media. Within hours, Mumbai Indians witnessed a staggering loss of 400,000 followers on Twitter, with disgruntled fans voicing their displeasure.

Adding to the confusion, former South African cricketer AB de Villiers expressed surprise at the negative reception. In a video on his YouTube channel, he urged fans to embrace Pandya’s return, highlighting his past association with the franchise and his recent successes with Gujarat Titans.

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“To be fair to Hardik, he was also a Mumbai boy for a long time,” AB de Villiers stated. “He won trophies with them. I get that Surya and Bumrah stayed loyal, but he’s back now. And I find the reaction quite strange. People are upset, and Mumbai Indians lost a million followers?”

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

Pandya’s journey with Mumbai Indians has been a winding one. He started his IPL career with the franchise in 2015, playing a key role in their title victories. However, he opted to join Gujarat Titans in 2022, where he flourished, winning the Player of the Match award in the inaugural season’s final and leading his team to another final appearance in 2023.

AB de Villiers, acknowledging Pandya’s growth and experience, believes fans should welcome him back with open arms. “He wants to come back as a more experienced player and captain,” de Villiers emphasized. “Give him a boost, welcome him back. If he lifts a trophy, you guys won’t have a problem with that.”

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Whether Pandya can win over the hearts of the fans and lead Mumbai Indians back to glory remains to be seen. His past successes with the franchise and his undeniable talent are undeniable, but the wounds of his departure and the perceived lack of loyalty to his previous team still linger for many.