Indian Premier League outfit Delhi Daredevils has been renamed to Delhi Capitals as part of a fresh start by the franchise’s new owners.
The Delhi side has never won the IPL title, routinely finishing at the bottom of the table. The new team held on to the old red and blue hues but had added three tigers to a new logo unveiled in New Delhi.
Mumbai-based JSW Sports bought a 50 percent stake in the franchise earlier this year and said they will retain Australian coach Ricky Ponting and captain Shreyas Iyer for the 2019 season.
“Delhi is the power centre of the country, it is the capital, therefore the name Delhi Capitals,” JSW director Parth Jindal said.
“With (Shikhar) Dhawan, we have got more solidity at the top. And the young guys who have been with us (Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant) are doing well for India. The captain and coach are the same, there is continuity there,” he added.
Now retired India opener Gautam Gambhir had stepped down as captain in April after a string of failures. The 37-year-old Gambhir announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Tuesday.
Delhi have a purse of $3.5 million to spend during the IPL auction on December 18 in Jaipur for the next edition of the tournament in April and May.
One part of the 2019 edition is likely to be held outside India depending on the date of the country’s scheduled general election.
The 2019 Indian Premier League will be without some of Australia’s best players for its final weeks because the World Cup will take priority, as Cricket Australia aims to ensure country is put before club.
However, Australian cricket has suffered from scandal and poor form over the course of a horrendous 2018 – and focus has turned to rectifying that ahead of a World Cup defence and Ashes series in England.
The guidelines state that anyone selected in the 15-player World Cup squad, which will be announced in late April, must attend a pre-tournament camp in early May. Australia will also play an ODI series against Pakistan during the last two weeks of March and will not be released before its completion.
The red-ball Sheffield Shield competition also takes precedence over the IPL, and players hoping to compete in India must seek prior approval from the CA.
CA’s interim Team Performance chief Belinda Clark said the rules were “in the interest of making Australians proud of our team”.
“We are working hard to ensure their health and match readiness ahead of what will undoubtedly be a huge year in cricket, while respecting the players’ interests in playing in the various formats,” she said.
“It is a difficult period with the IPL being brought forward to accommodate the Cricket World Cup, and overlapping our domestic season.
“We are committed to respecting the position of the Sheffield Shield, while ensuring Australia’s World Cup squad is well prepared for this critical world event.”
The 2019 IPL auction is due to take place next month with Australian players often sought after on big-money contracts. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc revealed he had been released from his Kolkata Knight Riders contract earlier this week, though it is unclear whether the decision is to do with his limited availability.
England pacer Mark Wood was among the three players who were not retained by the franchise ahead of Thursday’s deadline for submitting the list of retained players. The 28-year-old had made his IPL debut in the 2018 edition, but played just one game for the Super Kings before eventually heading home to England to rejoin his county outfit Durham.
Along with Wood, two uncapped domestic players in the form of Kanishk Seth and Kshitiz Sharma were released from their contracts.
The franchise made the announcement on various social media platforms on Wednesday.
The Chennai outfit had returned to the IPL in 2018 after a two-year suspension and stormed their way to a third title under skipper MS Dhoni.
The franchise has kept hold of Wood’s compatriot all-rounder David Willey who had joined the 2018 IPL as a late replacement for the injured Kedar Jadhav. Both the players have been included in the retained list.
Also included in the squad is New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner who missed the 2018 edition because of a knee injury. The Blackcaps man is still sidelined for a prolonged spell as he continues his injury rehabilitation following his surgery.
He is, however, expected to feature at some stage in the 2019 edition.
The eight IPL franchises are expected to submit their final list to the league’s Governing Council by Thursday, while the player auction for the 2019 edition is set to take place in December.