Sanju Samson, who has been appointed as Rajasthan Royals’ skipper for IPL 2021, expressed excitement over being given leadership responsibility and claimed that he was grateful to have played under great captains. In his time with RR, Samson has played under Dravid, Smith, and Rahane among others.
Franchises seldom tend to make drastic changes ahead of a mini-auction, but that was not the case this time around with Rajasthan Royals, who dropped a bombshell by releasing incumbent skipper Steve Smith. The Australian’s release came as a shock, but what popped up as an even bigger surprise was the appointment of Sanju Samson as captain. Samson, who has spent a vast majority of his IPL career with RR, led Kerala in the 2020/21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and narrowly failed to take them to the knockouts, but has no prior experience of leading an IPL side.
The inexperience that comes with his appointment has been questioned, but the Kerala man is confident that the time he’s spent playing under a plethora of world-class leaders will stand him in good stead ahead of his maiden stint as skipper.
“I’m excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team. The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I'm so grateful for all the time I've spent working with and learning from the great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, and Steve Smith,” Samson was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
The 26-year-old, who now has 107 IPL appearances under his belt, spent two seasons with Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) but has largely been a Royal through and through, having debuted for the franchise way back in 2013 as an 18-year-old. The newly-appointed skipper described the franchise as a team ‘close to his heart’ and claimed that he was itching for the new season to kickstart.
“It’s a team that is so close to my heart, which I’ve been lucky enough to play for over the years. I now cannot wait to get (the season) started.”