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‘Jitesh wasn’t the designated vice-captain’ – Punjab Kings clarify Sam Curran’s captaincy substitution over Jitesh Sharma

Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Franchise Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) unexpected decision to hand the captaincy reins to Sam Curran instead of Jitesh Sharma in the recent (Indian Premier League) IPL 2024 match against Rajasthan Royals stirred up a storm of criticism on social media. Fans were quick to express their bewilderment and disappointment, especially given the earlier announcement designating Jitesh Sharma as the vice-captain.

The move, which came in light of Shikhar Dhawan’s absence due to injury, left many scratching their heads. According to PBKS head coach Sanjay Bangar, the confusion stemmed from a misunderstanding regarding Jitesh Sharma’s role within the team.

Contrary to popular belief, Bangar clarified that Jitesh Sharma was never officially designated as the vice-captain. He explained that Jitesh’s presence at the IPL captain’s shoot was merely a procedural matter, as any player could represent the franchise at such events per IPL directives.

Bangar further elaborated that Sam Curran, who led the team in the previous season, initially intended to attend the pre-season event but was unable to do so due to his late arrival from the UK. Consequently, Jitesh Sharma was sent to his place, leading to the misconception regarding his role within the team.

“Jitesh wasn’t the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captain’s seminar or meeting at the start of the tournament. But the thought was always that since Sam had led the team last year as well, he was late to arrive from the UK and wanted to have a few sessions, which is why we couldn’t send him to Chennai for the inauguration of the season,” Bangar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

“Hence, Jitesh was sent because the directive from an IPL member was that a player must attend, but it was never in mind that he would be the vice-captain. But we were very clear in our minds that of at all there would be an opening it would be Sam to lead the team,” he added further.

Also Read: IPL 2024: Tanush Kotian sets bizarre record for Rajasthan Royals as an opener, stirs social media ablaze

Punjab Kings suffer another defeat in a humdinger against Rajasthan Royals at home

Despite the clarification, the decision to promote Curran as captain drew ire from fans and pundits alike. However, PBKS suffered a setback on the field as well, succumbing to a three-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals.

Also Read: IPL 2024 Qualification Scenarios: How can Punjab Kings qualify for playoffs losing to RR?

The loss marked PBKS’s fourth defeat in IPL 2024, further denting their campaign. Currently languishing at eighth position in the points table, PBKS face an uphill battle to resurrect their season. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals continue to dominate, maintaining their position at the top of the table with five wins in six matches.

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