IPL 2021: Mumbai Indians fans are our 12th man, says coach Jayawardene
Captain Rohit Sharma looking forward to the continued support as they eye a hat-trick of titles
The Mumbai Indians players have thanked their legion of fans with coach Mahela Jayawardene calling them their ‘12th man.’
The defending champions are gunning for a record sixth IPL title and third in a row. They won the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and last year, when the tournament was staged in the UAE.
And captain Rohit Sharma was looking forward to the continued support from the ‘Mumbai Indians family’ as they eye a hat-trick.
“The supporters of the Mumbai Indians team, they have been loyal all these years, since my first day in Mumbai Indians till today.” said Rohit.
“You are the most loyal fans that we have and we look forward to your continuous support. We do want to make it three in a row, for sure, so we need your support,” he added.
Meanwhile, former Sri Lankan skipper Jayawardene was left impressed by the passionate fans of the Mumbai Indians.
“They have cheered us brilliantly last season as well,” said Jayawardene.
“The family has grown immensely, the supporters have grown and they have supported each and every player passionately, whether they do well or bad. So, that’s a culture that we have and all those wishers become our 12th man,” he added.
Former Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is the director of cricket operations, said: “The family is growing every year. The fans have always been an integral part of this set-up.”
Leg spinner Rahul Chahar felt the love and support from the fans.
“We feel their love and support when we play. We feel confident while playing matches knowing that we have so many supporters backing us,” said Chahar.
Off spinner Jayant Yadav said that it was unfortunate that fans are unable to watch the games at the stadium, owing to the pandemic, but said that they are with the team, in spirit.
“The fan base that our team has, it is quite spectacular. And it has not just been for one year, it has been slowly but steadily growing in different parts of the country,” said Yadav.
“And I still remember going to different grounds and especially at Wankhede. Wankhede is our home ground and it is just jam-packed. And it is a completely different atmosphere there. In the current day and age that we are living in, of course, the fans are not able to come to the ground but I’m sure everybody will be excited at home to see Mumbai Indians playing,” he added.
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