NEW DELHI: Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday appointed swashbuckling England batsman Kevin Pietersen as their captain for the upcoming IPL with wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik as his deputy.
“Kevin Pietersen will captain the all new look Delhi Daredevils during the seventh edition of the Pepsi Indian Premier League. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik would be the vice-captain,” the Daredevils said in a statement.
The 33-year-old former England skipper was expected to take over as captain given his formidable reputation as a T20s batsman. He was named the ‘Man of the Tournament’ in the 2010 World T20 Championship for helping England bag their maiden crown.
Pietersen joined Delhi Daredevils in 2012 and made an impact with his eight-match outing amassing 305 runs with an average of 61.
He was unavailable in 2013 due to an injury but made it a point to visit the team and spend valuable time with the youngsters in the squad. KP, as he is popularly known, was retained by Daredevils through the ‘Matching Card’ option for Rs 9 crore during the players’ auction.
“I feel incredibly honoured to have been asked to captain the Delhi Daredevils in this year’s IPL. I am very much looking forward to working alongside Gary Kirsten. We have a fantastic squad with a good blend of youth and experience and a brilliant coaching set up. We hope to bring our incredible fans a lot of happiness this season,” Pietersen said on his appointment as captain.
Meanwhile, Karthik will make his return to the Daredevils after having played with the franchise for the first three years. He was bought by the Daredevils for a mind-boggling Rs 12 crore in the recently-concluded auction.
“I am really thankful and honoured on being appointed as the vice-captain of Delhi Daredevils cricket team. I also thank GMR Group and Delhi Daredevils for having the faith in me,” Karthik said.
“I am looking forward to working under legends like Kevin Pietersen and Gary Kirsten and show my full support and faith for the team. I will try and take the team to a newer level and achieve great things,” he added.
Team coach Gary Kirsten said the two players would be crucial to the franchise’s fortunes.
“I am looking forward to working with Kevin Pietersen as the captain of the Delhi Daredevils. It will be great to have him with us for the full duration of IPL and I have no doubt that he will have a positive and significant impact,” Kirsten said.
Kirsten said that Pietersen along with vice-captain Dinesh Karthik would form a formidable leadership team.
“Dinesh Karthik, who has been appointed as vice-captain will also form part of the leadership team. He has a lot of experience of playing the IPL and he will offer valuable inputs into our game plans and strategies during the tournament,” he explained.