Mumbai Indian's backroom duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Zaheer Khan will now have extended responsibilities after they were promoted to global roles with the franchise. They will now also be responsible for overseeing things for the recently formed sister clubs in South Africa and the UAE.
Mumbai Indians have taken another step in establishing a global cricket dynasty by placing two of its most successful coaching staff at the helm of affairs across the board. Former international pacer Zaheer Khan will now serve as the franchise's global head of cricket development, a move on from the previous role of director of cricket operations. Similarly, legendary Sri Lankan batsman has taken up the role of Global Head of Performance after successfully leading the Indian Premier League side as head coach for the past four years.
The appointments have come in light of the Reliance Industries-owned organization securing the rights of teams in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, adding them to Mumbai Indian's wings. The IL20 in the UAE is scheduled to host its inaugural edition in the first two months of 2023, at the same time when Cricket South Africa's latest venture will also be in action for the first time.
“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 flows through all our teams globally and make a difference in the cricketing ecosystems across the globe,” the chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Akash Ambani said in an official press release.
Jayawardene has already led the side to great success in the IPL, securing three titles. However, his new duties will now include 'overall strategic planning, the creation of an integrated global high-performance eco-system, as well as responsibility for each team’s coaching and support structures, working closely with the team head coaches to ensure synergies, a consistent brand of cricket, and implementation of best practices set by MI.' He is expected to be spearheading the auction in South Africa on Monday to draft players for the MI Cape Town side.
“It is an absolute honour for me to lead MI’s global cricket operations. Mrs. Ambani and Akash’s leadership and guidance have made MI the most valued global cricket franchise and I am very happy to see MI grow globally. I look forward to this new responsibility to build a strong cohesive global brand of cricket,” he stated.
Zaheer Khan, meanwhile will be responsible for 'player development, building on MI’s robust program around talent identification and grooming and adopting the same across geographies, which has been core to MI’s philosophy and success.'
“I am humbled to take on this new role and thank Mrs. Nita Ambani and Akash for their faith in me. MI has been home for me as a player and as a coaching team member, and now as we embark on a new journey, I look ahead to working closely with all the stakeholders in the global network to unearth new potential that can join the family,” the 43-year-old gushed.