Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua feels his franchise is capable of building a good side for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League. In a freewheeling chat with MAIL TODAY, Dua spoke about how the decision not to retain any player was taken consciously.
“I think we are very well prepared to build a side. We haven’t formalised our structure but we have full money (Rs 60 crore) and three matching cards,” he said.
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Dua said there was optimism in the ranks as the player pool is large.
“In addition to the regular players, we will also have those who were with Pune Warriors,” he said.
The reactions to the Daredevils’ decision not to retain any player has been strong on Facebook and Twitter. There are some comments as to how there can be no Delhi team without Virender Sehwag. Dua said the franchise was prepared for this reaction.
“Sehwag was with us for six years and is an important player. I am aware fans have written about him but the same thing happened when KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) dropped Sourav Ganguly. There was mayhem initially and slowly KKR forgot Ganguly,” is his logic. In Dua’s view, the team management has to decide on the best combination.
So how is the new team going to be picked as there is a possibility of matches being shifted outside India? “We have to keep all factors in mind as this side is going to be there for three years. We are optimistic and will choose the best side,” said Dua.
The IPL has a window from April to the first week of June and Dua feels where the event is held will be decided soon by the governing council. He expects that before the auction (February 12 and 13), team owners will be told where the tournament is going to be played.
“We would not want to go abroad, though I am sure the IPL has its own compulsions as this time it depends on the general election dates,” said Dua.
Coming back to the performance of the team, Dua felt there is a great need for consistency.
“In 2012, we were on top and then faltered. We need to look at consistency and not be erratic. I also feel this time the IPL gets a better chance of flexibility as there are only 60 games. We can plan better,” stressed Dua.
In his view, everything possible will be done to make the Daredevils’ fans feel better. And that includes merchandising as well.
“To be honest, we have not achieved much in merchandising. We know there is more potential, though we did make small attempts last year,” he said.
Dua said the key was to ensure the Delhi Daredevils’ products have a shelf life.
“We have tied up with licensees and fans can touch the products online and offline. We are looking at a larger portfolio of products which will include footwear and accessories,” promised Dua.
To imagine that an IPL team’s product will sell like a Manchester United or Chelsea jersey may be far-fetched, but what Daredevils have to showcase on and off the field will be watched with interest.
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