Kolkata Knight Riders are still seeking to replicate the success they found a decade ago when the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine drove them to maiden glory. Now embarking upon the second year of a new era, the side has made big moves in the trade window and looks hungry for success.
Kolkata Knight Riders built a promising squad at the mega auctions last year with their usual preference for potential talent over a star-studded squad, but failed to get going at any stage of the season. They eventually finished in seventh place with just six wins and eight losses and were still heavily reliant on their old core, featuring an ageing Andre Russell and a fading Sunil Narine. Nevertheless, the side has retained faith in the rising stocks of skipper Shreyas Iyer and have made up for the loss of some big names by adding some serious firepower in the trade window with an aim to challenge for their third IPL title.
The most notable name no longer a part of the KKR family is Pat Cummins, who decided to withdraw from the tournament considering a hectic international schedule. The pacer only featured in five matches last year as well and failed to impress but undoubtedly added great experience to a team stocked full of young pacers. Compatriot Aaron Finch has followed suit albeit his reasons being more personal, with the 2021 World T20 winning captain opting to spend time with his family. English wicketkeeper Sam Billings has decided to bid adieu as well in order to take part in the County season, as has Alex Hales after citing bubble fatigue last season. Among Indians, yet another wicket-keeper in Sheldon Jackson has been released after he failed to lock in his spot in the first XI last season while the experiment with Ajinkya Rahane has well and truly failed as the veteran departs, thus opening up a lot of slots for KKR to fill ahead of the new season.
Other players that were released by the franchise are Shivam Mavi, Mohammad Nabi, Chamika Karunaratne, Abhijeet Tomar, Ashok Sharma, Baba Indrajith, Pratham Singh, Ramesh Kumar and Rasikh Salam.
The purple and golden brigade has tried to cut their losses ahead of the retention release by working out trades. They have already roped in wicket-keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz, as Billings’ replacement behind the stumps, and Lockie Ferguson who has represented the franchise in the past. Shardul Thakur, one of the few capped Indian seaming all-rounders, has also made his way to the Bengal side from Delhi Capitals in exchange for Aman Khan.
Among the retained players, Shreyas Iyer is the highest valued Indian player in the squad with a price tag of 12.25 crores but is still quite a lot shy of Andre Russell’s payment of 16 crores. Varun Chakravarthy will once again prove to be key for the franchise, valued at 12 crores, while Venkatesh Iyer’s retention makes KKR one of the few teams with two capped Indian pace all-rounders.
Kolkata Knight Riders Retained Players
Shreyas Iyer (12.25 crore), Nitish Rana (8 crore), Varun Chakravarthy (8 crore, 12 crore to be deducted from purse), Anukul Roy (20 lakh), Ashok Sharma (55 lakh), Tim Southee (1.5 crore), Andre Russell (12 crore, 16 crore to be deducted from purse), Venkatesh Iyer (8 crore), Sunil Narine (6 crore), Rinku Singh (55 lakh), Umesh Yadav (2 crore)
Kolkata Knight Riders Traded Players
Lockie Feguson (10 crore from Gujarat TItans), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (50 lakh from Gujarat Titans), Shardul Thakur (10.75 crore from Delhi Capitals)
Kolkata Knight Riders Released Players
Shivam Mavi (7.25 crore), Pat Cummins (7.25 crore), Sam Billings (2 crore), Aaron Finch (1.5 crore), Alex Hales (1.5 crore), Ajinkya Rahane (1 crore), Mohammed Nabi (1 crore), Sheldon Jackson (60 lakh), Chamika Karunaratne (50 lakh), Abhijeet Tomar (40 lakh), Rasikh Dar (20 lakh), Pratham Singh (20 lakh), Ramesh Kumar (20 lakh), Baba Indrajith (20 lakh), Aman Khan (20 lakh)
Kolkata Knight Riders Available Purse for 2023 IPL Auction
INR 7.05 crore