New Delhi, Nov 15: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) released Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran, Cameron Delport and Javon Searles ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the next season, the franchise announced on Thursday.
Apoorv Wankhede, Vinay Kumar and Ishank Jaggi were the Indian players released from the side as the franchise retained its core and a total of 13 players.
“Curran, Searles and Vinay proved expensive, while Cameron Delport and Apoorv Wankhede weren’t given an opportunity to perform. The retention was triggered by how our season went in 2018,” Venky Mysore, the CEO of KKR said.
“As we all know, we had a big auction before the last edition, where we assembled a new team. We had retained only Andre Russell and Sunil Narine (on that occasion), so it was practically a new squad, and we were quite excited by the way the season evolved.”
“We have retained 13 players now, including Kamlesh Nagarkoti. He was injured, and he, unfortunately, couldn’t play for us. He is still recovering, but given the skills and ability he has, we picked him with that intention, and we have retained him again.
“Releasing players is always a difficult decision, because we are like one big family. The cricketers, whether they play or they don’t, often contribute in many other ways to a side. However, this was an opportunity for us to fine-tune the squad, and look at the strategies going forward,” Mysore added.
Kuldeep Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla will continue their association with the purple brigade.
Overseas stars like Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have also been retained.
Youngsters Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna and Nitish Rana also find a spot in the squad with Rinku Singh.
Australia pacer Mitchell Starc was on Wednesday released by KKR.
Starc, who missed the last edition due to an injury, was bought by KKR in the 2018 auction for Rs 9.4 crore.
“I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I’ve been released from my contract, so at the moment I’ll be home in April,” Starc told reporters.
“I didn’t go last year with my tibia injury. It was a great opportunity to freshen the body up and let it heal by itself. If I don’t play the IPL next year it’s a good opportunity to freshen up for a massive six months of cricket in the UK.
Starc also said IPL is a bonus but if he had to miss the league for his national team he will take the latter option.
Retained: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Released: Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran, Cameron Delport, Ishank Jaggi, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhede, Javon Searles.