Mumbai: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) has partnered sports broadcaster Star Sports to announce new captain. This is the first time IPL franchisees are announcing their captains on television.
While Rajasthan Royals will announce its captain on 24 February at 7 pm, KKR will make the announcement on 4 March at 9 pm. The announcement of the captains by the two teams will air on on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD 1, Star Sports Hindi 1, Star Sports Hindi 1 HD and Star Sports First.
The episode of Phir Halla Bol – Return of the Royals will feature Shane Warne along with Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale.
Before the captain announcement episode, Star Sports will broadcast the entire episode of Knight Club featuring Sourav Ganguly and KKR assistant coach Simon Katich where they will talk about the qualities they are seeking in KKR’s next captain. The episode will air on 25 February on the three channels at 10 pm.
Shane Warne said, “The captain plays an important role as there are players coming from different countries and he needs to bring them all together. A captain is instrumental to create a culture within the team wherein every one gels with each other on and off the field.
We indeed have some great choices- the likes of Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith who bring leadership values with them. Jos Buttler too has capabilities to lead a team.”
“We really appreciate Star Sports’ efforts to create a six-month buzz around the IPL 2018. Indians love cricket and such programming innovations are bound to win a million hearts. We are delighted to have partnered with the Star Sports network to announce our captain for the upcoming season,” said Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale.
Former KKR and India captain Sourav Ganguly said, “It is important for KKR to entrust their new captain with the kind of faith and stability they showed in Gautam Gambhir. When I look at the current KKR squad, I feel Robin Uthappa is the best player to lead the team. Though the team has experienced campaigners in Dinesh Karthik and Chris Lynn but Uthappa has been with the team for over 4 years now and he’s had considerable experience in dealing with the dynamics of the side, not to mention that he’s a fan favourite as well. An aggressive batsman himself, he will be the right successor to the legacy that KKR has come to build over the last decade.”
KKR will also offer their fans to nominate their choices for the captain via fan poll starting tomorrow on their website before Star Sports and KKR answer one question on everybody’s minds ‘KKR ka Captain Kaun?’ on 4 March.
Speaking on the qualities KKR is seeking in their next captain, KKR Assistant Coach Simon Katich said, “While on-field characteristics play an important role, we are also looking at someone who can be a big part of the camp off the field. It is important how the captain goes around and creates a friendly atmosphere in the camp by not always talking cricket and also getting to know the players and their characteristics.”
In the lead-up to the tournament, Star Sports is offering 60 hours of dedicated programming per month featuring a daily dose of proprietary shows such as Game Plan, Cricket Countdown and specially curated Franchise based episodes.
The 11th edition of IPL starts on 7 April with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on two-time winners Chennai Super Kings. Rajasthan Royals will kick-off their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 9 April. KKR will begin their IPL 2018 journey at Eden Gardens against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore on 8 April. In addition to airing IPL in Hindi and English, Star Sports will also have four regional feeds in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali for IPL 2018.