New Delhi: The Ahmedabad-based Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has finally announced their name as ‘Gujarat Titans’. The new team will be led by superstar all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The name of the franchise was revealed ahead of the 2nd ODI between India and West Indies in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Shubh Aarambh! #GujaratTitans
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) February 9, 2022
The naming of the Ahmedabad franchise comes days after Lucknow, owned by RPSG Group, announced its official name as Lucknow Super Giants. The Lucknow team will be led by KL Rahul.
The side will be led by all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was released by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the IPL mega auction. Along with the 28-year-old Indian, Ahmedabad also roped in Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan and India youngster Shubman Gill. Both Pandya and Rashid were signed at ₹15 crore, while the Indian opener was picked at ₹8 crore.
The franchise from Ahmedabad will be second to participate in the tournament from Gujarat; earlier, the ‘Gujarat Lions’ appeared in two seasons of the IPL (2016 and 2017) when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned on allegations of corruption. Under Suresh Raina’s captaincy, the Lions had topped the table in their maiden season but failed to lift the title.
Former South African batter Gary Kirsten, who had famously coached India to ODI World Cup win in 2011, will serve as the batting coach and mentor of the Ahmedabad franchise. Former India pacer Ashish Nehra was appointed as the head coach. The 2022 season also sees Hardik Pandya making his maiden appearance as a full-time captain in the tournament.
Talking about the all-rounder, Kirsten had earlier said that Pandya will be motivated to show what he can do at the big stage as a leader.
“I am looking forward to working with Hardik as a young and new captain. I think he will be really motivated to come in and make a plan and show what he is capable of at this level of the game as a leader. He’s a great player. What I have heard is that he is really keen to get into the mix and get involved,” Kirsten had said on Star Sports’ show ‘IPL Selection Day’.