IPL 2021: Indian Premier League 13 runners-up Delhi Capitals will kickstart their preparations for the upcoming season of the cash-rich league from March 30 with the tournament set to begin on April 9. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will play Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener.
Speaking to ANI, DC CEO Vinod Bisht said that the idea to delay the camp was to give the cricketers – currently playing international or domestic cricket — enough time to freshen up and spend some time with their families before they enter the bio-bubble.
“We intentionally delayed our camp firstly because of the evolving scenario (COVID-19), secondly, compared to last season, a lot of cricket has happened and our players are on the move. So we said let them get some rest and spend time with the family because they are again going to be in the bubble. At the moment we are tentatively planning to get into our bubble on 23rd and so we should be out to start our camp by 30th of the month,” he said.
While there was a mini-auction this year, DC made some important purchases in Steve Smith, Sam Billings and Umesh Yadav. Asked about the thought process behind bidding for these players, Bisht said it was to create a scenario wherein an injury to a top player doesn’t disturb the team composition.
“With the covid situation, a lot depended on the coaches who are with us and we had identified that we had a great squad in season 13 as well. Each of our players have continued to do well for their respective teams. We knew we had the squad in place, but also since we had a few injuries last season, so we wanted to create back-ups especially for the key places. That is why we went for the international players who could immediately come in if such a scenario arises. That is how we went in for big and proven names. Auction is a big gamble and we turned out to be lucky with bagging Steve and Umesh at that price. We have a good back-up squad now,” he explained.
While the DC outfit already has a quality batting line-up, the inclusion of the likes of Smith might create a scenario wherein some of the big names will have to warm the bench. But the CEO believes all selection calls will be made by the team management and a good squad means players will be on their toes.
“It is a good problem to have, too many big names. I know coaches will certainly have their bags full but like I said, it is a good problem to have. Even if someone is on the bench, depending on the performances at that point, coaches will take decisions. Even the first XI will always know there is a good player on the bench so they need to perform better and be on their toes. It is a healthy competition that we will have,” he said.