Former Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Shikhar Dhawan has been traded to Delhi Daredevils in exchange for three players – Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma.
The move is a homecoming for the left-hander who is not only a Delhiite, but also turned up for the Delhi franchise in the inaugural IPL season in 2008. He had been with Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2013, becoming the team’s top-scorer with a tally of 2768 from 91 innings.
Three youngsters from Daredevils move in the opposite direction – Vijay Shankar, the pace-bowling allrounder, Abhishek Sharma – the young left hander who is also handy with the ball and Nadeem, the left-arm spinner.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that one of our long standing players, Shikhar Dhawan, will be playing for another franchise in 2019. We were delighted to pick Shikhar up in the auction after using one of its RTM cards,” said Sunrisers in a statement.
“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that the player has been unsettled ever since with the amount he was bought for in the auction, which we cannot rectify due to IPL rules. We value the great contribution that Shikhar has made over the years and saddened that due to financial reasons, he feels it’s time to move on,” the statement added.
Since his move away from Delhi after the first season, Dhawan has turned up for Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He will bolster a solid top order which boasts of the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Jason Roy and Colin Munro among others. The India veteran will also be a valuable experienced campaigner in a team that is highlighted by many youth stars, including captain Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and the aforementioned Shaw.
Dhawan also joins Pant, Gambhir and Manjot Kalra as the locals currently playing for the Delhi franchise.
The left-hander was a constant at the top of the order for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, but they struggled to find a regular opening partner, with Kane Williamson, Wriddhiman Saha, Alex Hales and Shreevats Goswami all opening at different times in the tournament. However, there have been rumours that Dhawan was unhappy with his price tag – SRH used their RTM (Right To Match) card in the IPL 2018 auctions to bring him back for INR 5.2 crore after Kings XI Punjab had put in the winning bid. In the lead-up to the auctions, SRH had opted to retain Bhuvneshwar Kumar and David Warner ahead of Dhawan.
In return, SRH get hold of two all-rounders and a left-arm spinner. Both Sharma and Shankar played some part in Delhi’s campaign last year and showed that they can be useful additions. Nadeem did not have a great impact with just 3 wickets in six games, but has enough experience and success in domestic cricket to force his way through.