Gautam Gambhir © DD press team
Gautam Gambhir © DD press team

On Wednesday, Delhi Daredevils (DD) named Gautam Gambhir as the captain for IPL 2018. DD Chief Executive Hemant Dua made the announcement in Delhi while launching the jersey of the franchise for the upcoming season. Gambhir himself was present during the event, along with Manjot Kalra and Naman Ojha. Gambhir was bought by the Daredevils for INR 2.8 crores. He is returning to DD after span of eight years. During this time frame, Gambhir has led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to two IPL titles. Gambhir had started his journey with DD on a high note in the inaugural edition scoring 534 runs at 41 and strike rate of 141. Last year, even before a decisions on player retention were made, Gambhir had said he wanted to finish with a stint at DD.

Gambhir on being named captain: “It is a huge honour to once again captain DD. 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. 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.”

Dua’s words: “I had maintained post the auction that Gauti has unfinished business with the franchise. He was the second highest-scorer during the last IPL. But above all, he is a leader, so this appointment was an easy choice. Both Ricky [Ponting] and Gauti have spoken to each other. I am glad that they are both on the same page.”

Head coach Ponting was elated too: “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. 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.”

DD will play their first IPL 2018 match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on April 8 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. Meanwhile, Daikin will continue to sponsor DD for the next 3 years.