Pat Cummins named Sunrisers Hyderabad captain

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Pat Cummins has been appointed captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2024, replacing Aiden Markram who had led the team in the 2023 season.

Cummins has not led a side in the IPL before – in fact, he has not led a team in top-flight T20 cricket before – but his appointment comes after a successful period as captain of Australia, during which he led them to victory in the World Test Championship and the 2023 ODI World Cup, with both wins in the finals coming against India.

The move means that SRH will have the flexibility of playing their new signings – Australian batter Travis Head and Sri Lankan legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga – in addition to finisher Heinrich Klaasen instead of Markram if they want to do so, while Cummins slots in as the overseas fast bowler. Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi and South Africa’s Marco Jansen are the other overseas quicks in the squad, while New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips rounds off their roster of eight overseas players.

Cummins had withdrawn from IPL 2023 to focus on international cricket but entered the auction for the 2024 season, where he became the first player in IPL history to get a bid of INR 20 crore (USD 2.4 million approximately). SRH’s record bid of INR 20.50 crore (USD 2.47 million approximately) for Cummins was shortly broken by Kolkata Knight Riders, who bid INR 24.75 crores (USD 2.98 million approximately) for Mitchell Starc. Cummins, coincidentally, had been part of the KKR squad from 2020 to 2022.

Cummins will be SRH’s third captain in three seasons. Kane Williamson led them to an eighth-place finish in 2022 before he was released ahead of the 2023 season, in which SRH finished last under Markram’s captaincy with only four wins in 14 league games. Markram scored only 248 runs at a strike rate of 129 in IPL 2023, and he remains in the SRH squad for the upcoming season. In the SA20, Cricket South Africa’s T20 league, Markram had led the Sunrisers Eastern Cape franchise to back-to-back titles in 2022 and 2023.

In addition to the latest captaincy change, SRH had also named a new head coach ahead of the 2024 IPL season, with former New Zealand left-arm spinner and captain Daniel Vettori taking over from Brian Lara, who had in turn replaced Tom Moody as coach for IPL 2023.
SRH also replaced Dale Steyn with former New Zealand allrounder James Franklin as their bowling coach.

SRH begin their IPL 2024 campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on March 23, and then play Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad on March 27.

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