The Delhi Daredevils compete in the Indian Premier League, a professional T20 cricket league held every year in India. As the name suggests, the Daredevils represent the city of Delhi and are called ‘DD’ in short.
The team plays its home matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi and the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Chhattisgarh. Though Delhi have not won any silverware up until now, they have been semifinalists in two seasons, 2008 and 2009.
Virender Sehwag led Daredevils in the first season of IPL. He proved to be an iconic figure for the team, as he scored a total of 2382 runs in 86 matches for the team, with an average strike rate of 158.37.
Australian player David Warner was another important opener for DD. With a strike rate of 132.84, he devastated other teams, partnering with the in-form Sehwag.
Gautam Gambhir, who was the skipper in 2009 had great partnerships with Sehwag. His classical strokes and Sehwag’s aggressive batting made Delhi’s opening partnership deadly. Adding to the fire power there were players like AB De Villiers and JP Duminy who were feared by other teams in the league for their explosive batting and accelerating the runs in haste.
The Delhi based team also had exceptional bowlers like Amit Mishra who took a whooping 71 wickets in 63 matches and South African player Morne Morkel who struck 51 wickets in 41 matches.
Delhi Daredevils had South Africa veteran Gary Kirsten as their head coach, but was later replaced with Gary Upton.
They have now roped in Australia’s former captain Ricky Ponting as their head coach for the upcoming 2018 season.
Delhi Daredevils was founded in 2008 and was one of the eight founding teams of the IPL. Auctioned along with other teams before the first IPL, the Delhi franchise was bought by property development company, GMR Group, for $84 million.
The Daredevils won their first game of IPL on 19th April 2008 against Rajasthan Royals by 9 wickets in Delhi. However, they finished fourth on the league table, having a mediocre spell in the first season of IPL.
Although Delhi have always looked strong on paper, they are yet to bag a title in the IPL. They came close to winning it in 2009, thanks to their most iconic player, Virender Sehwag, who has also played the most matches (86) for them.
Career trajectory of the club
Over the past 10 years, Delhi have failed to win a major title, and they have let go of their key players who could single handedly turn the matches to a win. Players like Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers and Daniel Vettori have gone to other teams and have proved how much of a threat they can be to their opposition.
Daredevils have always had a changing team, with no constant skipper which has been a big problem. Apart from 2009 season, in which they finished third in the league, the Daredevils have failed to shine.
In 2011, Delhi had finished rock bottom on the table with only four games won out of the 14 played. They managed a brilliant comeback in the next season with 11 games won out of 18, but again failed to sustain their form in the 2013 season, falling to three wins out of 16.
Delhi Daredevils have about 1 million followers on Twitter and 43 lakh plus likes on their Facebook page as of now. Their fan following is comparatively less than other team, because of several reasons.
The prime being, their performance in the IPL has been subpar. The supporters have great expectations from their team, but the Daredevils have failed to deliver. While Delhi was led by Virender Sehwag, the team won hearts of the Delhi fans. But after the local boy left, the number of fans took a huge hit.
That said, Delhi are trying hard to improve their side and give fans something to cheer for. They have retained players like Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris and Rishabh Pant for IPL 2018 at the player retention event in Mumbai, with belief that they will push Delhi through to finals this time.
Many Delhi fans have stuck behind the team through thick and thin and will continue to support the club no matter what and that's what the team needs in the end.