The Delhi Daredevils is a professional cricket team that represents the capital city of India and plays in the Indian Premier League. The blue and red of the Daredevils play their home games at the Feroz Shah Kolta Ground in Delhi, but also occasionally play at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.
The Delhi Daredevils was one of the eight founding teams of the Indian Premier League. They were purchased by the GMR Group in 2008, which was founded by a wealthy Indian businessman. With a price tag of $84 million the Delhi Daredevils were not cheap, and with the name of the country’s biggest city behind them, a lot was expected of them. However, as of 2016, they have yet to win a single IPL season, despite this league being won by five of the eleven teams that have participated over the years.
In the first year, the ambassador of the Delhi Daredevils was Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, but he only stayed on as the ambassador for one season.
The Daredevils were fairly poor during their first season, and despite winning four out of their first five games, they went on to lose the next four. During their second season, the Delhi Daredevils looked unstoppable. Captained by Guatam Gambhir, an Indian international, and with the prolific batsman Virender Sehwag as their icon player they finished at the top of the league table and were on course for victory. However, with Sehwag succumbing to injury and with the Daredevils beginning to look shaky, they were crushed in the semi-final, with a fine batting performance from Adam Gilchrist’s Chargers proving to be their undoing.
The Daredevils made it to the Champions League following this performance, but after winning their first group stage, they finished bottom of their second, behind fellow IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Daredevils put in some consistent performances in the years that followed, despite a blip in 2011 which saw them win just four of their fourteen games. In 2012 they won eleven games and progressed to the latter stages again, before losing to the Kolkata Knight Riders. They did qualify for the Champions League again and they won the first group stage of this competition, but they were beaten in the semi-finals by the Highveld Lions of South Africa.
Virender Sehwag was the star player and the captain for the Delhi Daredevils during their first two seasons. He passed the captaincy to Guatam Gambhir during 2010, but took it back when Gambhir left to join the Knights.
One of the biggest names to play for the Delhi Daredevils was Kevin Pietersen, who they signed in 2012. This was a big year for the Daredevils and one in which they recorded some of their best performances yet. Pietersen’s signing went some way to helping this, but at the beginning of the season they also signed a number of other big-name players, including Mahela Jayawardene and Doug Bracewell.
Paul Collingwood has also played for the Delhi Daredevils, as has Wayne Parnell, Owais Shah and David Warner, among many others.
During their first few years in the IPL, the Delhi Daredevils struggled against a few top teams, with a very poor record against the Chennai Super Kings, who claimed two IPL titles and 2 Champions League titles in the time the Daredevils struggled to make a single final. They do have a respectable record against the Mumbai Indians though, who won the same amount of CL and IPL titles in the same amount of time as the Super Kings.
The Delhi Daredevils certainly have the ability. Their history and their records have shown that they are more than capable, but they have a habit of struggling to get over the final hurdle and of remaining consistent when it counts, and this has proved to be their downfall over the years.
In 2011, the owner of the Delhi Daredevils pledged close to $350 million to help impoverished people in India. This astonishing amount is equal to his assets in the GMR Group, which makes this philanthropic act look even more staggering.
His ownership of this Indian Premier League team will also go a long way to helping India to grow, as it was estimated in 2015 that the IPL contributes around half a billion US dollars to the Gross Domestic Product of India.