Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene has stepped down as the Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach to take up a broader role as the franchise’s global head of performance. Jayawardene, in his new position, will administer the coaching and scouting at all the three teams the franchise owners Reliance Industries now have – MI in the IPL, MI Emirates in the ILT20, and MI Cape Town in the SA20.
Further, former India pacer Zaheer Khan, who has served MI as the director of cricket operations, will now be the global head of cricket development for the three teams. This also means that Rohit Sharma-led MI and the other two franchises, MI Emirates and MI Cape Town, will get new head coaches.
“I’m happy to have Mahela and Zak as part of our global core team. Both have been an integral part of the MI family and embody the spirit of the cricket MI stands for. I’m confident that they would be able to ensure the same flow through all our teams globally and make a difference in the cricketing ecosystems across the globe,” said Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio Infocomm, in a statement.
Notably, Jayawardene and Zaheer have worked closely since the Mumbaikar joined the support staff at MI in 2018, and MI’s win-loss ratio of 1.289 has been the best among the original eight IPL teams. However, Mumbai have struggled in the past two seasons and finished last in the ten-team event in 2022.
Overall, in the cash-rich league, Jayawardene has been the second-most successful coach after Stephen Fleming, who has been with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since 2009. The Jayawardene-Rohit combination has made three IPL playoffs in six seasons and won the title each time, and they are the only team with five IPL titles.