The Eagle soaring high into sky has replaced the Charging Bull. And it is going to be the new identity of the Hyderabad team in the 2013 Indian Premier League season.
Sun Group, which has entered the sports entertainment sector by acquiring the Hyderabad IPL cricket franchise, earlier owned by the Deccan Chronicle group, in an auction conducted by the Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on October 26, officially renamed the team as “Sunrisers Hyderabad” on Thursday.
It also unveiled a logo – an eagle soaring high into the sky with its wings spread wide and looking into the core of the rising sun.
The Sun Group bought the Hyderabad team for Rs 425 crore payable in five years.
The event was attended by former India captain and ex- chairman of selection committee Krish Srikkanth, who will be the mentor and strategic analyst of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Among others present were former Australia cricketer Tom Moody, who will be the coach, and chief executive officer Shanmugham alias Shammy.
Former India cricketer and local favourite VVS Laxman, who has been designated as mentor and brand ambassador for the team, could not make it to the function. “ A sunrise is not only a symbol of hope but also all that is new in life, in happiness and in zest. All these attributes point us in the direction of our team name,” Shanmugham said.
Srikkanth said it would be a big challenge for him to groom the team into a winning combination with the support of veterans like Laxman and Moody. “ We will come up with the right kind of strategies and make the team fly to new heights like an eagle,” he said.
“The new identity encapsulates the valour, chivalry, endurance, independence and fearlessness of the eagle synthesising with energy and radiance obtained from the Sun,” he said.
The former India opener added that Sunrisers Hyderabad would first target reaching the semifinals of the next edition of the IPL. “ Being the chairman of the selection committee which picked the Indian cricket team that had won the World Cup in 2011, I am aware of the expectations and the challenges ahead.
Similarly, Moody being himself a member of the 1987 World Cup winning Australian team and Laxman, with his vast experience, should be able to groom the best team to win the cup,” he said.
Srikkanth said Kumar Sangakkara would continue to be the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, as was the case with the earlier franchise.
The other members are: Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhandari, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Akshath Reddy, Ashish Reddy, Bharat Chipli, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Dale Steyn, JP Duminy, Juan Theron, Chris Lynn, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, DB Ravi Teja, Parthiv Patel and Veer Pratap Singh.
“We will explore the option of bidding for some more talented players in the forthcoming auction on January 19. We will definitely bid for Ambati Rayudu. Besides, some talented players from Pakistan would also be made available in the auction and some youngsters from India. We know what kind of combination of players we need for the new team,” he said.
Asked whether the Chennaibased Sun Group would be able to create a “ fan base” in Hyderabad, Srikkanth said the Sun Network had a wide presence in Hyderabad with several entertainment television channels and an FM channel and hence, was a known brand in the city. “ I have an attachment with Hyderabad, because it was here I scored over 90 runs against Pakistan in early ‘ 80s, which straightway landed me in the Indian team,” he recalled.
Moody said he accepts the challenge of guiding the destiny of a new franchise in the IPL. “ I am looking forward to the exciting prospect of being associated with this team,” he said.