The Kolkata franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders, did not have a great run last season, having failed to make the playoffs on the basis of net run rate (NRR). This time, they have released some of their key foreign players and pressed the reset button ahead of IPL 2020 players’ auction, to be held in Kolkata on December 19.
KKR have released 10 players and retained 13. Among the released players are hard-hitting Australian batsman Chris Lynn, West Indian Carlos Braithwaite, Englishman Joe Denly, and South African pacer Anrich Nortje. Last season’s vice-captain Robin Uthappa and spin bowler Piyush Chawla, both of whom were with the team for long, have also been let go.
In the 2019 season, only Andre Russell had proved a face-saver for KKR. He did not get enough support from his teammates and there were rumours of a possible rift in the dressing room. However, the franchise, co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, some of the big names like Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav.
During the trade window, KKR traded in Siddesh Lad, who might find a place in the middle order, in place of Robin Uthappa.
Kolkata Knight riders have also made changes to their coaching staff ahead of IPL 2020 auction, bringing in former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum as head coach. McCullum had hit the first century in IPL history while playing for KKR in the first match of the inaugural season. The franchise has also brought in Australia’s David Hussey as chief mentor and former Kiwi pacer Kyle Mills as bowling coach. Hussey had represented KKR as a player from 2008 to 2010.
The team have the deepest available purse of Rs 35.65 crore, which they will use to bid aggressively for key players during the IPL 2020 auction.
Here is the full list of players retained, traded and released by KKR:
Retained players: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi.
Players traded in: Siddhesh Lad
Players released: Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Nikhil Naik, KC Cariappa, Joe Denly, Srikant Munde, Yarra Prithviraj, Anrich Nortje.