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“Jitesh wasn’t vice-captain” – Punjab Kings’ Sanjay Bangar explains why Sam Curran was made captain vs Rajasthan

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The Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) surprising move to appoint Sam Curran as captain instead of Jitesh Sharma for their recent IPL 2024 match against the Rajasthan Royals sparked controversy on social media. Fans expressed confusion and disappointment, especially given Sharma’s earlier designation as vice-captain.

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The decision, prompted by Shikhar Dhawan’s injury absence, left many puzzled. PBKS head coach Sanjay Bangar clarified that Sharma was never officially named vice-captain. He explained that Sharma’s presence at the IPL captain’s event was procedural, as any player could represent the franchise as per IPL directives.

Bangar clarified that Curran, who led the team last season, was intended to attend the pre-season event but couldn’t due to his late arrival from the UK. Consequently, Sharma attended in his place, leading to misconceptions about his role.

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“Jitesh wasn’t the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captain’s seminar or meeting at the start of the tournament. But the thought was always that since Sam had led the team last year as well, he was late to arrive from the UK and wanted to have a few sessions, which is why we couldn’t send him to Chennai for the inauguration of the season,” Bangar stated.

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Despite the explanation, promoting Curran drew criticism. Punjab Kings suffered a defeat against Rajasthan Royals, marking their fourth loss in IPL 2024 and denting their campaign. Currently ranked eighth, PBKS face a tough task to revive their season. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals maintain their dominance at the top of the table with five wins in six matches.