ZIMBABWE international cricketer, Sikandar Raza is continuing with his impressive show on the global stage as he has been named the new captain of his Caribbean Premier League (CPL) side, St Lucia Kings.
The Chevrons stalwart replaces South African legend Faf Du Plessis at the helm of the top placed St Lucia Kings. Du Plessis suffered an elbow injury and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
This will be Raza’s second stint as a captain in an internationally recognised T20 franchise league.
His previous and first stint as a skipper came last year when he captained Dambulla Aura in the absence of Dasun Shanaka in the Lankan Premier League (LPL).
Raza’s predecessor, Du Plessis has rallied behind him to do a good job as he comes in with a lot of T20 franchise experience having taken part in some big competitions such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“Raza is someone who has played a lot of T20 and T10 cricket. So very much an experienced brain there, so, it’s great to have those guys on the field and ask questions. Obviously, it’s a change and probably you could say a big change because it’s someone stepping into the shoes for the first time with the St Lucia Kings.
“But luckily, we’ve got someone like Sammy there who will make sure for the first one or two games there will be some direction from his side. And then trust the guy on the field with the resources that he has at his disposal,” said Du Plessis after their match on Saturday.
Commenting on the issue, Raza said they will miss Du Plessis as he has done a lot of good work for the team and is grateful to have a team like St Lucia Kings which has a lot of good players and everything will take care of itself.
“It is true apparently. Faf has done such a fantastic job with this team, we are going to miss him dearly but most importantly we wish him well because he is going for a surgery so a lot of prayers for him. We wish Faf a successful surgery and quick recovery because this family is incomplete without him.
“For my side, when you have so many good professionals and great guys with great attitudes then captaining is not really a big thing, everything looks after itself because everybody is so focused and motivated to do well,” said Raza.
In their previous match against Trinbago Knight Riders on Saturday, Raza was named player of the match after helping St. Lucia Kings register a 54 runs win. He put up a good all-round performance.
Batting first, Raza scored 32 runs from 23 balls as his side finished on 167/5 in 20 overs before going on to finish with bowling figures of 2/31 in three overs to help St. Lucia Kings bowl out their opponents for 113 runs in 14,5 overs and win their second match in five matches.
Raza’s first assignment as the captain comes on Sunday against fifth placed Barbados Royals in Bridgetown. This will be their seventh match of the campaign.