Rajasthan Royals again has an Indian captain. Sanju Samson is only the third local skipper of the team, after Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane.
He succeeds Steve Smith, one of three Australians to have led the Royals; Shane Warne and Shane Watson are the others. Smith is one of eight players released Wednesday by the franchise ahead of the 14th edition of the IPL.
Samson first played for the Royals in 2013, and with the exception of the two seasons the team was banned for (when he moved to Delhi) he has been with the Jaipur-based franchise. In 2012, he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team, but did not play.
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Samson, who was also relocated as Kerala’s skipper for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament recently, said it was an absolute honor to have been named captain of the Royals. “It’s a team that is so close to my heart that I have had the chance to play over the years,” he said.
“I am excited about the challenge that awaits me as the team leader.”
He added that he was looking forward to the new IPL season. “The Royals have had wonderful captains over the years and I am very grateful for all the time I have spent working and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith”, a- he declared.
“I can’t wait to start (the season) now.”