India stalwart Rahul Dravid, who retired from international and domestic cricket, would be Rajasthan Royals’ captain-cum-coach-cum mentor in the Indian Premier League, team’s co-owner Raj Kundra said on Friday.
“Rahul Dravid will be the coach and the mentor as far as the team is concerned,” Kundra said on Friday.
Spin wizard Warne, who led the Royals in the first four editions of the IPL, was also the mentor and coach of the team and Dravid would fill in these positions.
Dravid was the natural choice to lead the Jaipur franchise in IPL 5 commencing on April 4, after the retirement of Australian great Shane Warne from the T20 League, according to Kundra.
“He was my first choice when the board sat down and said who you want as captain. We had to make the decision. I had only one name and that was Rahul Dravid,” Kundra said.
“He is someone the Indian players look up to and the international players respect. He is a role model. He is very calm and collected,” Kundra said in praise of “The Wall” who scored over 24,000 runs in Tests and ODIs combined with 48 hundreds to add lustre to the figures.
The Royals had bought Dravid in the 2011 IPL auction for $500,000. He was with Vijay Mallya’s Royal Challengers Bangalore for the first three years of the cash-rich T20 League.
Kundra expects the new skipper to recreate the same magic in the upcoming edition commencing on April 4 that the Jaipur franchise had sprung up while clinching the title at the inaugural season of IPL in 2008.
“This year we have given him a decent team as per his requirements. We have some great players. I hope he gives us the result we had in season one,” he said.
Dravid scored 343 runs in 12 matches in his first season with the Royals in 2011 even as the team ended up at the sixth position.