[FILE] Delhi Daredevils players during IPL-6.

New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils wants all the matches of the 2014 IPL to be played in India while wholeheartedly supporting the new retention rule of five players as that would provide the crucial “continuity” to the franchises.

There is speculation that some matches, if not the entire IPL, could be played abroad if the dates of the general elections clash with that of the T20 competition, traditionally played in April-May.

Hemant Dua, CEO of the GMR Sports Pvt. Ltd., which manages Daredevils, also confirmed team mentor T.A. Sekar, coach Eric Simons, and Trentwood Hill, the batting and fielding coach, have been retained. He said the rest of the coaching/support staff would be finalised in consultation with new chief coach Gary Kirsten.

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At an IPL franchise workshop, organised in Singapore last month and which Dua attended, the BCCI and the team owners discussed the possible relocation of the IPL abroad.

“We strongly feel that all the matches should be played in India because it’s the Indian Premier League. And it also has commercial bearings on all of us. The league understands that and they have assured us that they are trying their level best that the maximum amount of the league takes place in India, if not 100 per cent,” Dua told MAIL TODAY.

The retention of five players by each franchise ahead of the auction in February was also confirmed.

“That’s what they’ve told us. They’re working on what the composition of those five players will be. IPL has been quite supportive, with [Ranjib] Biswal being the chairman,” Dua said.

“We’re okay with retention; we’re not against it. Everybody has its own view on the number. Each team thinks from its own perspective, strategy. We’ll be fine with whatever comes up on the retention policy,” he said.

Dua stressed that players’ continuity is an important ingredient for the teams to carry forward the fan support. “You need some form of retention because it helps in continuity of the brand also. At the end of the day, a team’s brand is also identified by the players that play it. So, if you keep having new players every three years it’s not going to work in anybody’s interest,” he explained.

“Some of the franchises had some objections to what the thing was. IPL was very supportive and they listened to everybody.”

The player auction will give Daredevils a chance to start afresh, after a dismal last season, feels Dua. “We’re looking forward to three years and five years, moving forward. We’ll be back in our winning ways.”

The hiring of Kirsten could be a master stroke, though it took Daredevils a bit of convincing the former India coach.

“He was a treasure that was hard to get your hands on. I think he’s convinced that IPL as a league doesn’t take away too much time. And although you are around and involved, you don’t have to travel too much, like you travel with the national team regularly,” Dua emphasised.

“What, I think, he liked about our organisation is our values and beliefs. He feels they match his ideology. For him, values matter a lot. I guess he thinks he’ll be comfortable in the environment he’s going to be working in. So, that helped us swing him our way.”

Before the tournament starts, GMR is planning to launch a new corporate tournament and an academy, besides the regular inter-school competition.

Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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