The BCCI launched the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the Indian cricket team's T20 World Cup win in 2007. In the last 12 years, the tournament has become the most competitive cricket league on the planet.
Many international legends have participated in the IPL. Perhaps the most challenging job in the league is to captain a franchise. The squad leader has to work with players from different parts of the world and also has to ensure that the team performs well.
Some players are natural leaders and the management of their respective franchise hands over the team's reins to them. We look at three players who have served as skippers for three different IPL franchises.
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3. Steve Smith - RR, PWI, and RPS
Steve Smith has been one of the most consistent batsmen of the modern era. Royal Challengers Bangalore first signed him up in the 2010 IPL. However, the 3-time IPL runners-up released him before he could showcase his talents.
Next, Smith played for the Pune Warriors in the IPL. The team's regular captain Sourav Ganguly skipped the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Smith was given his IPL captaincy debut.
It is noteworthy that the team management had some experienced names like Michael Clarke and Angelo Mathews in the squad, but they still appointed Smith as the skipper. Unfortunately, Pune lost that match by 35 runs.
After the Pune Warriors left the IPL, Smith switched to Rajasthan Royals and led the Jaipur-based franchise in 2015. Interestingly, Rajasthan received a 2-year suspension from the IPL following the 2015 season.
Rising Pune Supergiant signed the Sydney-based player and assigned him the captaincy in IPL 2017. Smith led the team to the final that season, where Pune lost to Mumbai Indians. He came back to Rajasthan in 2019 and will lead the side in IPL 2020. Overall, the 31-year-old player has a win percentage of 68%.
2. Mahela Jayawardene - KXIP, DC, and KTK
Mahela Jayawardene is the head coach for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. The former Sri Lankan captain played for multiple franchises in his career. He started his IPL career as a part of Kings XI Punjab in 2008.
Yuvraj Singh was the first choice captain of the team, but the management appointed Kumar Sangakkara as the skipper in 2010. However, Sangakkara received a one-match ban because of his slow over-rate.
Punjab then selected Mahela Jayawardene as his replacement.
In 2011, the right-handed batsman moved to Kochi Tuskers Kerala, and the management appointed him the captain of the team straight away.
Kochi did not last beyond the 2011 season and the Delhi Capitals signed Jayawardene next. The Sri Lankan legend led the capital city-based franchise in a few IPL games before his career ended. Although Jayawardene had an excellent captaincy record in international cricket, he could win only 10 of the 29 IPL games in which he led his team.
1. Kumar Sangakkara - DC, SRH, and KXIP
Another former Sri Lankan cricket team captain to feature on this list is Kumar Sangakkara. The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman led Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers, and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
As mentioned above, Sangakkara replaced Yuvraj Singh as KXIP's skipper in 2010, but he could not make a massive difference as a leader. In 2011, he played for the Deccan Chargers and captained the side. Two years later, Sunrisers Hyderabad replaced the Chargers in the league.
The team management of both franchises entrusted Sangakkara with the responsibility of leading their teams. The Matale-based player, howevecould not captain the squads to perfection and lead them to IPL glory.
His win-loss record of 15-30 shows that Kumar Sangakkara did not enjoy the captaincy role in the IPL.