Abhishek Nayar.
Abhishek Nayar. Image Credit: X

One of the main architects behind the winning campaign of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, was Abhishek Nayar, who played the ‘Assistant Coach’ role in helping the team to reach their third title in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history.

Kolkata had a fabulous campaign in the IPL 2024, where they won nine of their 14 games, with two wash-out results, which started with three consecutive victories. They were excellent in the second phase of the tournament, after being unbeaten for eight games before lifting the coveted trophy.

Everyone in the coaching management, along with the players, both domestic and international played a huge role in the success of the Knight Riders, under the mentorship of Gautam Gambhir and the captain Shreyas Iyer.

‘There is this constant fight and conundrum in every cricketer’s mind’ – Abhishek Nayar

During the final of the 17th season of the tournament at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Kolkata had a cakewalk against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who were bundled out for only 113 runs in 18.3 overs.

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The Knight Riders decided to smash the Hyderabad bowling attack in all places of the ground as chased down the score with eight wickets in hand and almost 10 overs to spare. Venkatesh Iyer nailed an unbeaten 52-run knock in 26 balls, with the help of four boundaries and three sixes, at a strike rate of 200.

On the other hand, Chennai’s hometown boy Varun Chakaravarthy could bowl only two overs to return with 1/9. Both of these players highly spoke about the importance of Abhishek Nayar in coding their success.

“All I can think of right now is the person who built this Indian core. The main guy behind this is Abhishek Nayar,” Chakaravarthy expressed at the end of the IPL final to the broadcasters.

Recently the former India cricketer was present in a podcast with the YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia, who constructed a question which may still be regarded as taboo.

“Final question, sex in cricket? Is it a factor in the lives of players?” the anchor of the show asked.

The Hyderabad-born looked a bit puzzled at the first sense, before opening up on the subject of whether is there any human being who will survive with that in life.

“Are you asking this in a positive way or negative way? You have asked a very open-ended question. It will happen,” Abhishek Nayar responded. “Which human being will survive without it? But is it good or bad, is that your question? or your question is ‘kitna hota hai?'”

“I want to answer this, but I want to see what your answer is with me telling,” Ranveer responded.

Abhishek Nayar has been one of the pillars in making the career of many young players, and one of the greatest examples is the new star of Indian cricket- Rinku Singh, who has got so much backing from Nayar at the start of his career.

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In three ODIs that Nayar played, he failed to open his account after facing seven balls, but the left-hand batter has managed 5,749 runs in 103 first-class games at an average of 45.62, with 13 centuries and 32 fifties. When it comes to the shortest format of the game, the 40-year-old has smashed 1291 T20 runs at a strike rate of 123.77 with three fifties.

“It’s normal for anyone to do it,” Abhishek Nayar replied. “It’s different for everybody. There is this constant fight and conundrum in every cricketer’s mind. Some people will like it, some will abstain. So, there is no thumb rule.”

Along with being the assistant coach of the Knights franchise, Nayar has also been the head coach of the KKR academy, where he first saw the 18-year-old talent Angkrish Raghuvanshi.