‘Australian flavor coming into SRH’

Former South Africa National Cricket Team and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman, AB de Villiers, has expressed his disappointment over the sacking of Aiden Markram as the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Under the leadership of Markram, the Hyderabad-based franchise performed poorly in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. They finished at the very bottom and won just 4 matches in the marquee T20 league.

After the disappointing season, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) entered the auction with an eye on the new skipper and they spent a whopping 20.50 crore to acquire the services of Australia captain Pat Cummins.

Pat Cummins had a golden year as captain of the Australia National Cricket Team in 2023 as he retained the Ashes urn and led his team to victories in the ICC World Test Championship final and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 final. He also won the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2023 award.

Despite Pat Cummins not having good T20 and IPL numbers, the Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to appoint him as captain and remove Aiden Markram, who led Sunrisers Eastern Cape to back-to-back title victories in SA20.

The franchise has also faced criticism from several quarters for handing the leadership duties to Cummins, who isn’t the captain of Australia in the T20I format.

So, it is disappointing to me, to him, and to all South African fans – AB de Villiers on Aiden Markram’s sacking

Speaking about “fantastic captain” Markram being removed as captain, AB de Villiers said that he is quite disappointed to see SRH switch skippers after one bad season. He elaborated:

“There’s reason for him (Pat Cummins) to be captain in that team, even though it’s a bit of a surprise to most people, a bit of an upset to me perhaps to see Aiden Markram being moved across and sort of just had to make way for Pat Cummins there, even though Aiden Markram has won back-to-back SA20 tournaments.

“I think he’s a fantastic captain, and they were just getting used to him as captain there at the SRH. So, it is disappointing to me, to him, and to all South African fans, but if it is for the best of the SRH team, then so be it,” he added.

The Proteas great further said that the appointment of Pat Cummins as captain hasn’t come as a big surprise to him considering the presence of Daniel Vettori in the coaching setup. He also claimed that the Australian flavor is coming in the SRH setup. He elaborated:

“It’s quite a surprise, but not a big surprise to me, thinking of the involvement of Daniel Vettori, who was with the Australian team. Also, we might see some involvement with Andrew McDonald. You just see a bit of an Australian flavour coming into that Sunrisers Hyderabad team.”

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 will begin on March 22 and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be seen in action on March 23 when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

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