'Minute I saw Williamson...': De Villiers explains how GT missed 'fantastic opportunity' by naming Gill as new captain
AB de Villiers is excited to watch Shubman Gill perform and lead GT from the front at IPL 2024.
Gujarat Titans (GT) parted ways with their biggest-ever signing as former captain Hardik Pandya sealed a blockbuster return to Mumbai Indians (MI) in the build-up to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 auction. Hours after the conclusion of the retention deadline, record-time winners Mumbai Indians announced the trade deal for all-rounder Pandya from Gujarat Titans on Sunday.
MI managed to strike an all-cash deal worth INR 15 crore to acquire the services of Pandya from the 2022 IPL winners. Following the departure of Pandya, former champions Gujarat Titans announced opener Shubman Gill as the leader of the GT franchise. Though New Zealand white-ball skipper Kane Williamson was retained by GT, the Gujarat-based franchise opted to promote Gill as the captain of the side for IPL 2024.
'The minute I saw Williamson's name as a retained player…'
Sharing his views about Gill's appointment on YouTube, legendary South African cricketer AB de Villiers opined that GT had a fantastic opportunity to name Williamson as the leader of the Guarat-based franchise after Pandya returned to Mumbai Indians for IPL 2024. Williamson had guided Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to the IPL final back in 2018. "The minute I saw Kane Williamson's name as a retained player, I thought there was a fantastic opportunity to give an experienced player who has done it before an opportunity to captain for you. Give Shubman Gill the opportunity just to cement in all the formats in Indian cricket and just to have another good season at the IPL," De Villiers said.
Pandya's homecoming was also backed by Mumbai Indians' trade deal for Cameron Green with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians increased their purse for the IPL player auction on December 19 by trading all-rounder Green to RCB. The Australian all-rounder was roped in by MI for INR 17.5 crore at the IPL auction last year. Gill, who was the leading run-getter in IPL 2023, is among the few players to captain a franchise of the cash-rich league at the age of 24 or less.
'GT decided to throw Gill in as captain'
"They decided to throw him in as captain. It may pay off; I am not saying it is wrong. I am saying that it was a great opportunity for Shubman just to learn a little bit and know that the plan is for him to be captain in 2025. Nonetheless, I am excited to watch him perform and lead from the front," the former RCB star added.
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