Sanju Samson Excited To Lead Royals And Learn From Kumar Sangakkara In IPL 2021
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Sanju Samson Excited To Lead Royals And Learn From Kumar Sangakkara In IPL 2021

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI

Sanju Samson said he is eager to lead his franchise Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming 14th season of the upcoming Indian Premier League 2021 and learn a lot from Kumar Sangakkara, who was roped in as the Director of Cricket.

Rajasthan Royals’ newly-appointed captain Sanju Samson in place of Steve Smith has quite a few things to look forward to when he leads the side at Indian Premier League 2021. While he will be captaining an IPL franchise for the first time in his career, the Kerala star keeper will also get an opportunity to work with one of the legends of the game, former Sri Lankan keeper Kumar Sangakkara.

IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals name Sanju Samson as new captain, Steve Smith released
File photo of Sanju Samson | Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

Sanju Samson Felt Excited And Happy That Kumar Sangakkara Is In Board Of Rajasthan Royals As Director Of Cricket

The former Sri Lanka captain was roped in by Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming IPL 2021, which starts on April 9.  Kumar Sangakkara will be in charge of overseeing the entire cricketing ecosystem of the Royals franchise having been appointed as the Director of Cricket which includes coaching structure, auction plans, team strategy, talent discovery, and development, as well as the development of the Rajasthan Royals Academy in Nagpur.

Kumar Sangakkara explains how IPL has played a role developing cricketers’ skills across formats
File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte

While responding to fans’ questions for Rajasthan Royals, keeper Sanju Samson said he is delighted to work with Kumar Sangakkara and learn the tricks of the trade from one of the most successful wicketkeepers in the history of the game.

“When I came to know we are having Sanga, I got very excited. I am very happy that we are going to have Sanga for the next season and the next few years,” Samson said.

“It’s an honour to have him alongside, especially when I am the captain and he is the coach. The relationship is going to be really special. Looking forward to meeting him and learning a lot of things from him,” he added.

Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara is opposed to players choosing franchise leagues such as the IPL over international cricket but wants the International Cricket Council and member nations to strike a balance as both benefit the game. Kumar Sangakkara has played 134 Tests and 404 ODIs during an illustrious career.

Sanju Samson Is Excited To Lead Rajasthan Royals In IPL 2021

Sanju Samson was named the captain of Rajasthan Royals after they released Australian Steve Smith, who will now turn up for Delhi Capitals. Despite the presence of senior campaigners, including Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson has been handed the responsibility.

Notably, Sanju Samson had warmed up to captaincy by leading Kerala in the domestic white-ball tournaments earlier this year. Sanju Samson stressed he is not nervous but excited to lead the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021.

Chris Morris
Chris Morris of RCB. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“I am very much excited to do this role for my team. I started being a Royal when I was 18 and now I am 26 – the team has given me this role, I am really excited and looking forward to it,” he added.

Rajasthan Royals will open their campaign against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 12.

Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches. At the auction, Rajasthan Royals went big, spending Rs 24.20 crore on buying players. South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris was snapped up by the franchise at Rs 16.25 crore, becoming the most expensive player in the history of the league.

They spent Rs 4.4 crore on Shivam Dube while Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.2 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore), Liam Livingstone (Rs 75 lakh), KC Cariappa (Rs 20 lakh), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Akash Singh (Rs20 lakh) will also feature for the team this season.

Steve Smith was released by the Rajasthan Royals franchise ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. Steve Smith who took charge from Ajinkya Rahane in the middle of the season in 2019 failed to live up to his expectations scoring 311 runs averaging only 25.91 with 3 fifties in IPL 2020. Sanju Samson was named as the new captain of Rajasthan Royals.