Suresh Raina was chosen ahead of McCullum to lead Gujarat Lions © AFP
Suresh Raina was chosen ahead of McCullum to lead Gujarat Lions © AFP

Suresh Raina was appointed the skipper of Rajkot’s Indian premier League (IPL), the new franchise which was named Gujarat Lions on Tuesday. Raina was selected ahead of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum for the captain’s role. The other big names in the team are Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo. Rajkot along with Pune were the two new franchises that have entered the IPL for two years after Chennai Supers Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were suspended for two years by the Lodha Committee. Keshav Bansal, the owner of Intex, held a press conference in New Delhi where the team name, logo, coach and captain were announced. READ: Rajkot franchise for IPL 2016 named ‘Gujarat Lions’

Jadeja will be representing Gujarat Lions on his home soil as he hails from Rajkot. Meanwhile, former Australian Brad Hodge was named the coach of Gujarat Lions. Raina recently had said he was confident about playing in Rajkot. He said, ““I am very much familiar with the condition of Rajkot as I have played many matches in junior category like U-16 and U-19.”

 

On the other hand, McCullum who is set to retire from international cricket at the end of home series against Australia, said, “Having played in India on so many occasions over the years, I am excited to be part of the Rajkot side for the next edition of the IPL. It has always been great playing in India as the crowds give you so much love, and they have an enthusiasm for the game which is unmatched.”