The experienced seamer will take over captaincy duties from South African all-rounder, JP Duminy, who led the side to a seventh-place finish last season.
In his role as captain, Zaheer will lead a new-look Daredevils side that comprises of relatively inexperienced players after the team management sought to rebuild the team from scratch with a marked emphasis on youth, in the recent IPL auction. Speaking after the appointment, team mentor and Zaheer's former national teammate, Rahul Dravid, said that the fast bowler's vast experience would help command the respect of the full dressing room.
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Speaking about the appointment, Team Mentor Rahul Dravid said: “Zaheer has been a leader for a very long time. Anyone who has followed Indian cricket will know the impact Zak has had. He has always proven himself to be one of the leaders.
“Zak has a big personality, but it is the focus and drive behind the outward confidence which I think he will bring to the captaincy and that I am sure will inspire the rest of the team. He has the respect of the dressing room and the franchise is proud to have him as our captain.
“I would like to congratulate him on the appointment and wish him, and the rest of the squad all the very best.”
Zaheer Khan has already retired from International Cricket, having played 92 Tests with 311 wickets. He took 282 ODI wickets in 200 matches. He also played 17 Twenty20 Internationals for India.
Dravid also paid tribute to the work put in by last season’s captain, South African all-rounder JP Duminy.
“JP did a fantastic job last season. He will continue to be part of the leadership group. I am looking forward to working with Zak, JP, Paddy (Upton, head coach) and the rest of the support staff as we build towards this upcoming season,” added Dravid. PTI AH