Sometimes it feels just like yesterday that the IPL was born, but here we are about to start a sixth season. During this six year period, the tournament has truly established itself as the premier T20 domestic league in the world and, once again, we are all looking forward to some really competitive and entertaining cricket.
For me, it is a special challenge having just taken over the captaincy reins at Delhi Daredevils during last year’s Champions League. I am fortunate to have some exceptionally talented players, a great team culture, and a very experienced, respected and professional management team. All this helps make my job easier and I am both excited and honoured to be leading the team.
I am also really looking forward to making a return to competitive cricket after fracturing my finger in a domestic game for Sinhalese Sports Club just before the recently completed home series against Bangladesh. It was disappointing to miss that series, ending a long run of consecutive Test matches stretching back to 2002, but it was also good to see some of our young players gain experience.
I have been batting now for about two weeks in the nets and thankfully my finger has healed well and I am available for selection right from today’s big tournament opener against Kolkata Knight Riders, last year’s winners. Given that we are missing some important players due to injury, it will be important that I lead from the front with Virender Sehwag and David Warner.
Our injury issues are obviously a frustration as you would love to turn up every season with a full quota of fully fit players. But the reality of this game is that people do get injured and the best teams need to be prepared for this. In this regard, we are fortunate that our squad selection is well-planned and we have all-round depth in all departments.
While injuries are part-and-parcel of this game, the kind of brutal and hateful attacks that hospitalised Jesse Ryder last week are shocking to everyone. The whole Delhi franchise is hoping he makes a speedy recovery to full health. It is certainly a relief to us all that he seems to now be in a stable condition.