Raina named captain of ‘Gujarat Lions’

Suresh Raina has been named captain of the team representing the Rajkot franchise, Gujarat Lions. Brad Hodge will serve as its coach.

Gujarat Lions will be Suresh Raina's second team in nine seasons of IPL.   -  Bhagya Prakash K.

The Rajkot franchise, which came into existence due to the vacuum created by the departure of two IPL teams for two years, has named its team the Gujarat Lions. It is to be captained by Suresh Raina, a decision that was announced by the franchise on Tuesday. Raina, who earlier represented the Chennai Super Kings, was snaffled by the franchise in the IPL player draft held in December.





The naming of the team, the franchise has said, was done via the involvement of responses on Facebook.

“Gujarat as a state has a rich cricketing history with a passion and commitment to the game that is unmatched. We have named our team Gujarat Lions to try and capture the spirit of Gujarat which has a rich cricketing history. The name brings instant connect with fans not just across the state but across the world,” Keshav Bansal, the owner of the franchise and director, Intex Technologies, was quoted as saying by Economic Times.

Other prominent players in the squad are Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo. The team will be coached by former Australia international Brad Hodge.

There has been interest shown by advertisers on the new IPL team, Bansal has confirmed. “We are close to signing a few deals. Many brands across Gujarat have also shown a lot of interest in the team.”

Intex, associated with manufacture of electronic gadgets, have joined the IPL bandwagon in an aim to drum up promotion for its brand. It will endeavour to minimise losses, Bansal said.