New Zealand captain Kane Williamson took charge of Sunrisers Hyderabad a day after David Warner was banned from playing IPL 2018 in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal troubling Australian cricket. In accepting the role, Williamson made a point to mention he was "standing in as captain for this season."
On Wednesday, Cricket Australia had slapped one-year bans on Warner, and Steven Smith, for their role in using a foreign substance to change the nature of the ball to generate reverse swing. Soon after that news broke, the BCCI announced that both players would not be allowed to take part in the IPL season. Warner and Smith had already relinquished captaincy of Sunrisers and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
Although there were other contenders, like Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers on Thursday chose to appoint Williamson as the interim captain. They had originally bought him in 2015 and regained his services at this year's auction for USD 468,000. Bhuvneshwar has been appointed vice-captain of the team.
The franchise's decision to pick Williamson is likely to raise a few eyebrows. In his previous three seasons with the Sunrisers, Williamson played only 15 matches with a modest record: 411 runs at a strike rate of 129.24 with three half centuries. Also, during a T20I tri-series between New Zealand, England and Australia, former fast bowler Simon Doull was concerned over Williamson's role in the shortest format, suggesting he should give up T20Is in an effort to manage his workload better.