Franchise’s former captain Shreyas Iyer opts to head to the player auction
While Capitals could see Iyer’s exit as a setback, they wouldn’t have been entirely surprised by the batter’s decision. Ever since the Capitals handed the captaincy to Pant ahead of IPL 2021, after Iyer was ruled out of the first leg due to shoulder surgery in April, the franchise faced the question of whether they could retain Iyer.
Iyer had taken over from Gautam Gambhir as the side’s captain midway through IPL 2018. In the next season, Iyer led the Delhi franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. In IPL 2019, they made their first final, but eventually lost to Mumbai Indians.
Earlier this March, during the ODI leg of the home series against England, Iyer dislocated his shoulder in the field and had to undergo surgery, forcing the Capitals to appoint Pant at the time as an interim captain. Although Iyer returned for the second leg of the IPL, played in the UAE in October-November, Pant was retained as the captain.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that although Iyer can still be bought by the two new franchises, he has decided to go to the auction where at least five teams from the eight existing franchises will be on the lookout for a new captain.
It is understood that while Pant was the first name on Capitals’ retention list, Shaw became the second once Iyer ruled himself out. Shaw, who made headlines during India’s 2018 Under-19 World Cup victory, was bought at the auction the same year for INR 1.2 crore. Shaw, who recently turned 22, is one of the most destructive openers across formats. At Capitals, he has acknowledged his growth under the coaching pair of Ricky Ponting and Praveen Amre, so the franchise did not need much to deliberate upon.
More to follow…
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo