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IPL 2023: Warner to lead Delhi Capitals in Pant’s absence, Axar named vice captain

Australian batter David Warner will lead Delhi Capitals in the upcoming IPL 2023 while all-rounder Axar Patel has been named as the team’s vice captain, the JSW-GMR co-owned franchise announced on Thursday.

The 36-year old Warner steps in as skipper for injured Rishabh Pant, who is currently undergoing rehab and recovery after surviving a horrific car crash last year.

This will be the second time Warner will lead Capitals, having been the interim captain for a couple of matches during the last year of his first stint with the franchise between 2009 and 2013 (Delhi Daredevils back then).

“Rishabh has been a terrific leader for Delhi Capitals, and we’re all going to miss having him around. I would like to thank the management for the faith and trust they’ve always shown in me. This franchise has always been home for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to lead such a supremely talented bunch of players. I can’t wait to meet them all, and get cracking,” the Australian opener said in a media release, issued by the franchise.

The franchise has also appointed former India captain Sourav Ganguly as the team’s Director of Cricket. Ganguly has been associated with Delhi Capitals in the past too, in the role of Mentor, during the 2019 season.

“I’m excited to be back with the Delhi Capitals. My association with the women’s team, and the Pretoria Capitals over the last few months has been fantastic, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season of the IPL,” Ganguly said.

“Delhi Capitals had done well as a team during my last stint with them. I’ve already been involved with the players this time around, and I’m keen to see them as a group. Hopefully, we will all have a great time over the next couple of months,” he added.

Meanwhile, team Chairman and co-owner Parth Jindal said there couldn’t have been a more apt candidate than Warner to captain Delhi Capitals.

“This is a hugely exciting time for the Capitals franchise. Between the previous IPL and the one coming up, our Capitals family has grown. We’re now the proud owners of a team in the ongoing Women’s Premier League, and have had successful opening seasons at the leagues conducted in South Africa and the UAE recently. In Rishabh’s absence, there couldn’t have been a more apt candidate than David to lead the Delhi Capitals,” said Jindal.

“With him as our leader, and Ricky and Dada overseeing all proceedings, I have no doubt that we are going to be the team to watch out for in the competition,” he added. �

Team co-owner Kiran Kumar Grandhi said, “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome David on board as our captain, and Dada back in our franchise again. They are among the many reasons to look forward to the upcoming season of the IPL, which also marks the return of fans to Qila Kotla after a three-year gap. Their presence strengthens our team immensely, and we can’t wait to see them fill the stands. I wish everyone all the very best for a successful IPL 2023.”

The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League kicks off on March 31 while the Delhi Capitals take on Lucknow Super Giants in their season opener in an away game on April 1.

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