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Hayden, Pathan Issue T20 WC 2024 'Warning' To Dravid Over Rohit-Hardik IPL Saga

Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma during IPL 2024 (BCCI)Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma during IPL 2024 (BCCI)

Former cricketers Matthew Hayden and Irfan Pathan have issued a stern warning to Indian head coach Rahul Dravid over the controversial Mumbai Indians captaincy saga between Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya.

Both Sharma and Pandya are currently in USA for the 2024 T20 World Cup. The ongoing tournament also marks Dravid’s final assignment as Team India head coach.

Hayden urges IND to keep IPL chatter out of dressing room

In reference to the controversial captaincy saga that unfolded between newly-appointed Mumbai Indians leader Hardik Pandya and five-time winner Rohit Sharma in IPL 2024, the cricketer-turned-commentator stated that there is no need to rekindle the controversy at the big stage.

While speaking on an ESPNCricinfo show, Hayden said:

“You know who the leader is. You look at each other, you understand what needs to happen and you go about it.”

Irfan Pathan, also one of the experts on the show, similarly suggested that IPL-related conversations should not come up during Team India’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign, and players should just focus on coach Rahul Dravid’s instructions instead. He said:

“The conversation of IPL shouldn't be happening. Don't talk about it, just focus on what Rahul Dravid wants from a particular player.”

Prior to the launch of IPL 2024, the Mumbai Indians management announced Hardik Pandya as new captain of the team over five-time winner Rohit Sharma. The decision was met with widespread criticism from a legion of fans of the franchise, and the leadership shift also seemingly affected the individual performance of the two cricketers.

As it turned out, Mumbai Indians finished at the bottom of the IPL 2024 points table, securing just four wins albeit 10 defeats from 14 games.

As of now, Rohit Sharma has assumed his leadership duties, albeit for Team India for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is also a crucial member of the 15-player Indian squad alongside Mumbai Indians colleagues like Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah.