Kolkata Knight Riders, on Thursday, released the list of their retained and released players ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Australian duo Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson headline the list of released players.
Despite being one of the biggest buys of the last auction, Starc did not play a single game as he pulled out of entire competition due to an injury. On the other hand, his compatriot Mitchell Johnson could only play a handful of games. Tom Curran, who too failed to impress, has been released alongside Cameron Delport and Javon Searles.
Among Indian players, Kolkata Knight Riders released Apoorv Wankhede, Vinay Kumar and Ishank Jaggi.
As expected, the franchise retained the core of the team alongside Dinesh Karthik who led the team brilliantly last season. Kuldeep Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla will continue their long association with Kolkata Knight Riders. Windies duo Sunil Narine, Andre Russell are also in the team along with Australia star Chris Lynn.
Young guns Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna and Nitish Rana also find a spot in the squad with Rinku Singh.
“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 in 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, the IPL auction is set to take place in December. Their are also reports that the league would start early next year due to the World Cup.
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.
Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran, Cameron Delport, Ishank Jaggi, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhede, Javon Searles.