Hyderabad: A day after Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla confirmed that Steve Smith and David Warner will not play in the 11th season of the league, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have appointed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as their captain.
Warner had stepped down from his post following his role in the ball-tampering scandal. He had led the SRH to a title win in 2016 and helped them to a top-four finish in 2017. Warner was also team’s leading run-scorer in both seasons of IPL. Earlier, Rajasthan Royals had appointed Ajinkya Rahane as their captain in place of Steve Smith.
Talking about his appointment, Williamson said that he is looking forward to play with a talented group of players. “I’ve accepted the role to stand in as captain for this season. It’s an exciting opportunity with a talented group of players. I look forward to the challenge ahead,” he added.
Williamson has been playing for the SRH since 2015. However, he has found it tough to cement his position in the playing XI, mostly because of the rule that allows franchisees to play only four overseas players. In IPL 2017, the New Zealand skipper had scored 256 runs for the franchise at an average of 42.66 in 7 matches.
Interestingly, Williamson was chosen over experienced Indian names like Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey. The development also means that we will have to wait to see 8 Indian captains in one season of IPL. This year, Williamson will be the only overseas skipper to lead a team.
David Warner who was Australia’s vice-captain was banned for one year by Cricket Australia for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. The BCCI in its statement had said that he along with Smith was banned from IPL, a decision that was well thought.
“The CoA, in consultation with BCCI Acting President CK Khanna, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla and BCCI Acting Hon. Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, has decided to ban Smith and Warner with immediate effect from participation in IPL 2018,” the statement added.
The 11th season of the Indian Premier League will start on April 7. In the opening match of the tournament, the defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings.