Millennium Post (Kolkata)

New season, new captain: SRH make Cummins skipper, their 4th in 3 years

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HYDERABAD: Australia’s World Cup-winning skipper Pat Cummins was on Monday named captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for the upcoming Indian Premier League, becoming the fourth player to be handed the responsibi­lity in the last three years.

The 30-year-old pacer was bought by SRH for a whopping Rs 20.50 crore in the IPL auctions in December last year, making him the second costliest player in the event’s history. He replaced South African Aiden Markram, who led SRH in the 2023 season.

“Our new captain Pat Cummins,” SRH posted on its social media platforms, along with a picture of Cummins.

In the 2023 season, SRH finished bottom of the heap under Markram’s captaincy with only four wins in 14 league games.

Markram’s feat of leading Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the inaugural SA20 title in 2023 and then defending the crown last month did not help him retain the SRH captaincy, though he remains in the squad.

The SRH leadership role has been changing hands for the last three years.

It began with the infamous 2021 saga when swashbuckl­ing Australian batter David Warner, who led the team to its only title win in 2016 and spent six years with the side, was sacked in the middle of the season.

Warner was replaced earlier too, by New Zealand’s Kane Williamson in 2018 and 2019, when he was serving a ban for his involvemen­t in the ball-tampering scandal during Australia’s tour of South Africa.

The big-hitter returned to the position in 2020 and was a fan favourite at SRH before his relationsh­ip with the team management began to turn sour during the 2021 season.

He was sacked from the captaincy in May that year after SRH lost five of their six games and was then axed altogether later in the season.

Williamson was handed the reigns of the side once again and Warner was blocked by SRH on Instagram. This came to light when the controvers­ial player tried to congratula­te his Australian team-mate Travis Head for joining SRH in December last year.

Williamson continued at the helm during the 2022 season and under him, the team finished eighth in the standings. He was eventually released from the team.

Cummins earlier played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils, now Delhi Capitals, but this will be his first stint as captain in the lucrative T20 league. He has not led a team in top-flight T20 cricket before.

But he has achieved huge success as Australia captain, leading the team to victory in the World Test Championsh­ip and the 2023 ODI World Cup, with both wins in the finals coming against India.

In 42 IPL matches, Cummins has taken 45 wickets with 4/34 being his best bowling figures in a match. With the bat, he has scored 379 runs at an average of 18.95 with 66 not out being the highest.

He made his IPL debut in 2014 for KKR but played just one match that season. He had a stint with Delhi Daredevils in 2017 and opted out of the IPL for a few years. Cummins returned to KKR as the costliest player of IPL 2020 auction with a whopping price tag of Rs 15.50 crore.

He was with KKR till 2022 and withdrew from IPL 2023 to focus on internatio­nal cricket.

He entered the auction for the 2024 season, where he became the first player in IPL history to get a bid of Rs 20 crore and above, though his national team-mate Mitchell Starc overtook him with a Rs 24.75 crore bid from KKR.

Besides the captaincy change, SRH has also named a new head coach ahead of the new season. Former New Zealand left-arm spinner and captain Daniel Vettori has taken over from Brian Lara.

Apart from this, former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin will take over as SRH bowling coach in place of South African Dale Steyn.

The 30-yearold pacer was bought by SRH for a whopping Rs 20.50 crore in the IPL auctions in December last year, making him the 2nd costliest player in event’s history

 ?? AGENCIES ?? Australian captain Pat Cummins in action
AGENCIES Australian captain Pat Cummins in action

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