The Sunrisers Hyderabad are a professional cricket team that play in the Indian Premier League. Playing in sunset red and black, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are often known simply as “SRH” or “Sunrisers”, were founded in 2013 and they play their home games at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, which is located in their home city of Hyderabad. This is generally considered to be one of the best stadiums in the country and has hosted several Test and ODI matches for the national team.
The Sunrisers entered the league a little later than their rival teams, as they replaced the Deccan Chargers, who were one of the founding members of the IPL. The Chargers were put up for sale in 2012, but no successful purchase was made, and soon after their contract was terminated by the league. Following this termination, the Sun TV Network, which controls many TV channels across India and is owned by the media baron Kalanithi Maran, purchased the franchise and changed its name to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The franchise cost Maran and his company around $16 million a year, and they signed for an initial five-year deal. The Sun TV Network is the biggest media company in India, and provided strong financial support for the Sunrisers from the off. The network is headquartered in Chennai, but the Sunrisers continued to represent Hyderabad, as the Deccan Chargers had done before them.
The Sunrisers retained many of the players that had been signed by the Chargers, but they also added another dozen players to the squad.
The Chargers had a few poor seasons in the Indian Premier League, and during their inaugural season and their final season combined, they won just 6 of their 29 games. However, for the three seasons between 2009 and 2011 they were consistent performers and they claimed the IPL title in 2009. The Sunrisers therefore had a strong squad and reputation on which to build. During their first season, Kumar Sangakkara captained them to the playoffs, but they didn’t make it beyond the early rounds.
In 2014 their performances were not as noteworthy and they recorded a total of 8 losses, which saw them fall short of the mark needed to reach the playoffs. They repeated this lackluster performance in the 2015 season as well, finishing 6th and missing out on the playoffs for the second season in a row.
The Sunrisers played in the Champions League for the first and currently the only time in 2013, and they represented the IPL well. In the first group stage they finished ahead of the Faisalabad Wolves and the Kandurata Maroons to advance behind the Otago Volts, but they struggled to repeat that performance in the second group, where they only recorded a single victory.
Going into the 2016 season, the Sunrisers were ranked as one of the outsiders for the competition, with only the Delhi Daredevils priced higher.
After a strong showing in 2013, the Sunrisers made the decision to retain just 2 players for the following season. This would not prove to be a good decision in the end and they failed to make it to the playoffs in any of the proceeding seasons. This is despite the fact that the Sunrisers signed many big-name players and had a lot of quality in-depth. The South African born superstar Kevin Pietersen, who plays for the England national team, was a member of the Deccan Chargers before they disbanded.
He moved on to play for the Delhi Daredevils during the Sunrisers’ first few seasons, but he returned to Hyderabad in 2015, only to be released from the side a year later. Captains of the Sunrisers have included Cameron White, Shikhar Dhawan, Darren Sammy and David Warner, as well as the Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, who led the team through their inaugural season.
While the Chargers were active their home stadium, the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, wasn’t exactly a good luck charm for the Indian national team. They lost to South Africa during their first match at the ground and then suffered two defeats against Australia. However, since the Sunrisers have been active, India have a 100% record at the ground, although they have only played 1 game. That game was against Sri Lanka in 2014, which India won by an impressive 6 wickets.