Mumbai: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting will replace Harbhajan Singh as captain of the Mumbai Indians for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, starting April 3. Pointing, who retired from international cricket late last year, was bought by Mumbai Indians at a base price of $400,000 during the IPL players' auction held in Chennai earlier this month.
Mumbai Indians said in a statement that decision to name Ponting as the skipper for the forthcoming season was taken after consultation with its newly-appointed chief mentor Anil Kumble, head coach John Wright and icon player Sachin Tendulkar.
"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 of the Mumbai Indians," Kumble said in the statement.
On his new role in the Mumbai Indians team, Ponting said: "It's a huge honour and I thank Mrs Ambani and the Mumbai Indians management for the faith they have reposed in my abilities.
"Mumbai Indians has the potent combination of Indian and international cricketers and I look forward to leading the team to play to its full potential."
Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani added: "On behalf of the Mumbai Indians family, I welcome Ricky Ponting to the team as the leader of the side. Today we have world's two biggest cricketing greats in Sachin and Ricky, and I am sure the duo will be an inspiration for the youngsters in the team.
"Sachin will always be an integral and important part of Mumbai Indians' leadership. Ricky will bring in fresh perspective in the team leadership and will have the support of the best cricketing minds like Sachin, Anil and John Wright," she added.
Mumbai Indians will start their IPL 2013 campaign on April 4 in Bangalore.