'Jitesh wasn't the designated vice-captain...': PBKS clarify why Sam Curran replaced Shikhar Dhawan as captain in RR tie | Crickit

'Jitesh wasn't the designated vice-captain...': PBKS clarify why Sam Curran replaced Shikhar Dhawan as captain in RR tie

Apr 14, 2024 08:50 AM IST

Head coach Sanjay Bangar issued a clarification after social-media uproar on PBKS' move to promote Sam Curran as captain ahead of Jitesh Sharma

Punjab Kings faced the wrath of fans on social media on Saturday afternoon after Sam Curran was promoted as the captain in place of injured Shikhar Dhawan in the IPL 2024 match against Rajasthan Royals at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur in Chandigarh, given that the franchise had earlier announced Jitesh Sharma as their vice captain. However, PBKS head coach Sanjay Bangar issued a clarification on the franchise's stance after they lost by three wickets at home.

PBKS reveal why Jitesh Sharma did not replace Shikhar Dhawan as captain in RR tie
PBKS reveal why Jitesh Sharma did not replace Shikhar Dhawan as captain in RR tie

On March 21, on the eve of the start of IPL 2024, Jitesh was officially announced as the new PBKS vice-captain after IPL posted the pictures from the captain's shoot, where the 30-year-old represented the Punjab franchise in place of absent Dhawan.

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With the regular captain out with a niggle in the match against Rajasthan, Jitesh was expected to step up as the captain, but it was Curran who was promoted to the role while the wicketkeeper-batter retained his role as a deputy.

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The decision left veterans and experts confused while fans lashed out at PBKS on social media. However, in the post-match conference, Bangar revealed that Jitesh was never a “designated vice-captain” for Punjab and that he was only sent to the IPL captain's shoot as a player, given that the IPL directive mentioned that any cricketer can be sent to represent a franchise at the captain's seminar before the start of the season.

Bangar further clarified that Curran was initially expected to represent PBKS in that pre-season event in Chennai last month, but missed owing to his late arrival from the UK.

“Jitesh wasn't the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captain's seminar or meeting at the start of the tournament. But the thought was always that since Sam had led the team last year as well, he was late to arrive from the UK and wanted to have a few sessions, which is why we couldn't send him to Chennai for the inauguration of the season. Hence, Jitesh was sent because the directive from an IPL member was that a player must attend, but it was never in mind that he would be the vice-captain. But we were very clear in our minds that of at all there would be an opening it would be Sam to lead the team,” he said.

PBKS incurred their fourth loss in IPL 2024 on Saturday after they failed to defend 148 at home. They currently stand eighth in the points table while Rajasthan remain at the top of the table, with five wins in six matches.

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