New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will replace the suspended David Warner as skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 11th season of the Indian Premier League, the franchise announced on Thursday.
Warner, who had led the Sunrisers to the IPL title in 2016, was banned from international and domestic cricket for 12 months by the Australian board after he emerged as one of the three accused in the ball-tampering controversy during the third Test against South Africa last week.
After Cricket Australia banned Warner, the Board of Control for Cricket in India went ahead and did the same for the 2018 season of the IPL. Warner had earlier resigned from the Sunrisers captaincy for the upcoming season.
Shikhar Dhawan was expected to replace Warner as Sunrisers captain but the franchise decided to hand over the reins to Williamson. “I’ve accepted the role to stand in as captain for this season,” the Kiwi was quoted as saying.“It’s an exciting opportunity with a talented group of players. I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
Sunrisers wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha had earlier said that the squad was strong enough to cope without the explosive and influential Warner.
Warner, in a tweet, had acknowledged that “mistakes have been made that has damaged cricket”. The Australia opener, along with fellow-accused Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, were asked to leave South Africa by Cricket Australia.
The Australian board’s investigation found that Warner devised the plan to “artificially alter the condition of the ball” and instructed Bancroft on how to do it. Cricket Australia also stated that the belligerent left-hander would not be given a leadership role in the future after his ban was over.