Delhi batsman Gautam Gambhir has been appointed as the captain of the T20 franchise Delhi Daredevils ahead of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 7. Delhi will start their IPL 2018 campaign, facing Ravichandran Ashwin-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), on April 8.
Team India discard, Gambhir captained two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in last seven years of the cash-rich league. The Southpaw batsman represented Delhi in first three seasons of the IPL.
The 36-year-old returned to the Delhi franchise after they bought him for Rs 2.8 Crore at the IPL Auction, held in Bengaluru in January.
"I'm privileged to be captaining Delhi Daredevils. It is always great to come back home, where you stated your IPL career, cricketing career as well," Gambhir said after being appointed as Delhi Daredevils' captain.
"Hopefully this is the place I'm going to finish as well. So I am really looking forward to it and really really really excited about it," he added.
Gambhir asserted that he looking forward to working with Delhi coach Rickey Ponting.
"It is a huge honour to once again captain Delhi. To get this responsibility is a way for me to give back to the sport in the city. I firmly believe that with the players currently involved we have the makings of a very good side," Gambhir said.
"The potential of this group of players is immense and it is now up to us to turn that potential into consistent performances. It is also going to be great to work in unison with Ricky, an absolute champion himself," the former India opener added.
Congratulating Gambhir on his appointment, Ponting hoped that the left-hander will have a successful stint with the Delhi team.
"Gauti has been a leader for a very long time. He has always proven himself to be one of the top leaders during his stint with other sides in the IPL. He has a big personality, but it is the drive behind the outward confidence which I think will inspire the rest of the team," Ponting said.
"He has the respect of the dressing room and the franchise is proud to have him as our captain. I would like to congratulate him on the appointment and wish him, all the very best," the former Australia captain added.
Delhi's newly-appointed coach Ricky Ponting had earlier said that the franchise has spoken to Gambhir about the captaincy role.
Besides Gambhir, Delhi bought Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Glenn Maxwell for Rs 1.9 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 9 crore respectively. Earlier, Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer were retained by the side from the last season squad.
Tagged as the perennial underperformers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) - Delhi Daredevils are looking for a change in fortune in the 2018 edition of the T20 extravaganza. The DD’s have always found it difficult to get going particularly in the last five editions of the league. Be it due to lack of star power, T20 specialists or experienced heads in the middle – the Daredevils have never been able to secure the critical moments in the league.
In the last edition of IPL, Delhi Daredevils finished sixth on the table, failing to secure the playoffs spot. Before the player auctions later this month, the franchise has chosen to retain three players from the 2017 squad.
(With agencies inputs)