Retired Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has been appointed as the captain of the Delhi Daredevils (DD) franchise for the 2016 IPL season. The DD franchise has gone through a rough period in the IPL during the last couple of years as the team combinations have not really clicked and the franchise has not reached an IPL final in a long time.
The franchise owners have selected the experienced Zaheer Khan in an effort to bring new leadership to the team and hope it will prove to be a turnaround for the DD’s. In a statement, the new captain Zaheer Khan said, “”It is a huge honor to captain Delhi Daredevils. To get this responsibility is a way for me to give back to the game. I firmly believe that with the players currently involved we have the makings of a very good side, a young side that can surprise people. The potential of this group of players is immense and it is now up to us as players to turn that potential into consistent performances.”
Delhi Daredevils have not won the championship till now and have had a mediocre run despite having some of the biggest names in cricket in their squad. The team has previously been captained by Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Mahela Jayawardene. Though Sehwag performed well, the other two captains were disappointing. Despite being one of the best funded sides and hiring some of the biggest stars in the game, the IPL championship has eluded the Delhi Daredevils.
The team administrators have tried out various combinations in the past and also made huge changes in 2014 after the team did not even make it to the playoffs. However those changes did not have much of an impact as the franchise has not made it to the playoffs in the last three editions of IPL.
The franchise has not been shy in experimenting and spending huge amounts of cash in an effort to change the fortunes of the side and also to build its brand image once again. During the 2016 IPL auction, the Delhi Daredevils bought an uncapped Indian player Pawan Negi for record breaking ₹850 million and hope that he will play a key role along with Khan in helping the Delhi Daredevil’s win the IPL championship this year.
Zaheer Khan has been one of the most successful pacers in Indian cricket history. At 37 years of age, the left arm seamer may not be at the prime of his career but has more than sufficient experience to captain the side.