Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pietersen to lead Bangalore Royal Challengers

England batsman Kevin Pietersen will lead Bangalore Royal Challengers during the second edition of the Indian Premier League, team owner Vijay Mallya announced. Pietersen replaces Rahul Dravid as the Royal Challengers captain for the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The team will be led by Pietersen for the first phase of the second edition of IPL until he leaves at the end of April following which South African Jacques Kallis will assume captaincy. “Kevin Pietersen will lead Royal Challengers in the IPL and it was a decision that we took after a lot of discussions and when he leaves to fulfill his England commitments, Jacques Kallis will lead the team,” said Vijay Mallya, owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore at a press conference late on Saturday. Mallya said that the leadership-change was done in consultation with Rahul Dravid, who led the team last year. “We were in consultation with Dravid and he had personal issues.” “He and his wife are expecting their child and no one knows when a baby is born and Rahul hinted at his likely unavailability.” “Hence there was also the need for Kallis to step in as Pietersen’s replacement in the second half of the IPL season,” Mallya said. Mallya said that his team which was weak in the batting department last year has gained with the inclusion of Jesse Ryder, Robin Uthappa and other explosive batsmen. “I believe we are championship contenders and I hope to get the cup to Bangalore,” Mallya added

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