Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) grabbed the biggest headlines on Thursday when they roped in Australia pace bowling spearhead Pat Cummins for a whopping amount of Rs 15.50 crore at the players’ auction. With this, Cummins became the most expensive foreign player in the history of IPL as bowlers dominated the mini-auction held in Kolkata.
Searching desperately for an overseas fast-bowling option, KKR went all out to acquire the services of Cummins, who is currently the top-ranked bowler in ICC Test rankings. After an intense bidding war with Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), KKR somehow managed to pip their competitors to acquire the 26-year-old for the 2020 edition.
The Westmead-born pacer has taken 32 wickets in 25 IPL matches at an impressive economy of 6. Apart from him, KKR made some really important purchases as they hired England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan (Rs 5.25 crore), T20 star Tom Banton (Rs 1 crore) and domestic hero Rahul Tripathi (Rs 60 lakh) to provide depth in their batting order.
“In 2018, we invested in a younger squad and it paid off really well for us. We have had a fair amount of success. We did not win the championship. Last year, we did not make it to the play-offs on run rate but the team has done fairly well,” said KKR CEO Venky Mysore.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik will continue to lead the Kolkata-based franchise in the 2020 season as confirmed by head coach Brendon McCullum.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) IPL 2020 Squad —
Batsmen: Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddesh Lad, Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi
Bowlers: Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, M Siddharth, Praveen Tambe
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Chris Green
Wicketkeepers: Dinesh Karthik, Nikhil Naik