Sunrisers Hyderabad fans have reacted to David Warner’s appointment as captain for the 2020 Indian Premier League with scepticism, some suggesting the decision is a mistake.
Warner captained the Sunrisers to their maiden title win in 2016, but was suspended from the side after the 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. New Zealander Kane Williamson was anointed the new skipper in his absence.
Warner returned in 2019 and was comfortably the tournament’s highest run-scorer, with 692 runs in 12 innings, including nine 50+ scores.
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The Sunrisers Hyderabad official Twitter account shared a video on Thursday afternoon revealing Warner would retain his title as the team’s captain in 2020.
?Announcement?#OrangeArmy, our captain for #IPL2020 is @davidwarner31. pic.twitter.com/lV9XAMw6RS
“I’m thrilled to be given the captaincy for the upcoming IPL … I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity once again to lead the team,” Warner said.
“I’ll be doing my very best to try and lead us to once again lifting that IPL trophy.
“I’d obviously thank Kane (Williamson) and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) for the way you guys led throughout the last couple of years.
“And Sunrisers fans, I look forward to seeing you guys out at the Fortress.”
However, it has become immediately evident Sunrisers fans were uncertain about the appointment, many expressing their concerns on social media.
Although Warner led the team to their only IPL title four years ago, many Indian supporters have lingering doubts about his leadership, calling for Williamson to remain captain.
Former Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson with star cricketer Rashid KhanSource:AFP
“Kane Williamson is currently the best captain in the world. Don’t know what SRH are thinking,” one fan tweeted after the announcement.
“Very poor decision from SRH. Kane is a brilliant captain and player,” another responded.
Despite the backlash, many fans expressed their support for Warner, including respected journalist and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.
“It was rather like an open secret that David Warner would return as captain of the Sunrisers. He is much loved there, as indeed is Kane Williamson,” Bhogle tweeted.
This is the first captaincy roll Warner has been granted since returning from his one-year suspension — Cricket Australia imposed the 33-year-old with a lifelong captaincy ban after the ball-tampering scandal, however this does not apply to overseas franchises.
On Thursday morning, teammate Steve Smith was also awarded a captaincy gig, named skipper of the Welsh Fire for The Hundred’s inaugural season in Britain later this year.
Warner has scored 4706 runs in his 126 IPL matches, averaging 43.17 with the bat.
David Warner scored eight fifties and one century during the 2019 IPLSource:AFP
Despite his sublime performance in the 2019 tournament, the Sunrisers finished fourth, losing their semi-final against the Delhi Capitals. Their squad for the upcoming competition include Jonny Bairstow, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mitchell Marsh.
The 2020 Indian Premier League commences on March 29th, with the Sunrisers’ opening fixture against defending champions Mumbai Indians on April 1st.
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