Delhi Capitals’ Australian head coach Ricky Ponting while speaking to the press in Melbourne after being hired as the head coach of Major League Cricket outfit Washington Freedom, disclosed that David Warner who retired from the longest formats last month, is expected to captain the Capitals for the 2nd season running in case Rishabh Pant remains unavailable in the upcoming IPL 2024 season.
David Warner returned to the Delhi-based outfit 2 seasons ago during the Mega player auction for IPL 2022. He was resigned by the Ponting-led management for 6.25 crores and the pocket-size dynamite got reunited with his first-ever Indian Premier League team after a wait of 8 years.
In those 8 years, Warner went through a lot, from reaching the summit of his career to going rock bottom. Right after the Delhi Capitals who were Daredevils before 2019, the explosive left-hand batter lifted his maiden ICC trophy in the form of the Cricket World Cup 2015 at the Land Down Under.
A year later in 2016, David Warner who was captaining the Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2014, led the South Indian outfit towards their maiden IPL title since the franchise was rebranded from Deccan Chargers to SRH. And 2 years later came the day that changed everything for him – the infamous Australian Sandpaper gate on South African soil.
He was found guilty of being involved in that case alongside Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft who were handed with 1-year bans by the ICC from all international cricketing actions. Warner and Smith’s respective IPL contracts were also suspended that season and the extent was so much so that Sunrisers Hyderabad even asked him not to come to the country and support the franchise he captained.
David Warner’s Fairytale Return To Delhi Was Splendid But Can He Lead Them To Maiden IPL Title?
After he returned to take over, David Warner led SRH to consecutive play-offs in 2019 and 2020 before finishing 8th in the 2021 season which proved to be his final one. In February 2022 in the mega auction, after Delhi Capitals bought him back for over 6 crores, Warner amassed 432 runs from the opening slot and last year he was handed over the captaincy role in the light of Pant’s absence due to the horrifying car crash he suffered in December 2022.
While his performance with the bat remained frustrating to some extent, he was still manage to score over 500 runs but DC underperformed badly and finished 9th in the league table. Head coach Ricky Ponting has hinted towards something similar (in terms of captaincy) next year as they hope their buys from the auction in December serve the Capitals well.
“We’ve got a really good squad that to be fair has probably underperformed the last couple of years, so we’ve got some work to do.” – Ricky Ponting told reporters in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, the Indian Premier League’s schedule for the 17th season is yet to come out but there are indications that it will start from somewhere around early March and conclude by May as there is the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies to start from June.