Mumbai: The Mumbai Indians ownership has elevated veterans Mahela Jayawardene and Zaheer Khan to new roles as the franchise’s global head of performance and global head of cricket development respectively, the group announced on Wednesday.
“The team management recognized the need for a central team. This would ensure consistency across the ‘One family of teams’, on ethos, values, and learning, that have made MI one of the most loved cricket brands across the globe,” the group said in a statement.
Jayawardene, who served as the head coach for MI, has been appointed as the Global Head of Performance, providing senior leadership of the group’s cricket operations of all the three teams the franchise owners now have – Mumbai Indians in the IPL, MI Emirates in the ILT20, and MI Cape Town in the SA20.
Jayawardene would be involved with 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.
“It is an absolute honor 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,” Jayawardene said.
Zaheer, earlier the director of cricket operations, has been appointed as the Global Head of Cricket Development. He 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.
Each geography comes with its unique set of challenges and Zaheer’s elevated role will play an important role in helping MI teams across the globe.
“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,” Zaheer said.
Akash Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, the owners of Mumbai Indians, said: “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.”