IPL 2019: Kolkata Knight Riders sign uncapped Australian fast bowler as Nortje's replacement

Matthew Kelly plays for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield
Matthew Kelly plays for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield

What's the story?

Kolkata Knight Riders have roped in uncapped Australian fast bowler Matthew Kelly as a replacement for South African pacer Anrich Nortje, who was ruled out of the tournament because of a shoulder injury.

This move has strengthened the pace attack of the Knight Riders who only had two world-class pacers - Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson - in their ranks.

The background

Nortje was set for his maiden stint in the cash-rich Indian Premier League after the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise snapped him up in the player auction for a price of 20 lakhs. The Proteas pacer, however, suffered a shoulder injury and after failing to recover in time, was officially ruled out of the 12th season of the IPL.

This came as a major blow to KKR, whose pace department was not the strongest going into the tournament.

The heart of the matter

Kolkata Knight Riders announced the signing of Matt Kelly on their official Twitter handle. The Knights tweeted a photo of Kelly in the Purple and Golden jersey, welcoming him to their squad.

Kelly is a 24-year-old right-arm fast bowler, hailing from Western Australia. He made his Big Bash League debut for Perth Scorchers in January 2018. The speedster was also a part of the Australian U-19 team in 2013 and has best figures of 3/31 in the 12 T20s he has played till date.

What's next?

The Knight Riders will next take the field against the Delhi Capitals tomorrow at the Eden Gardens. It will be interesting to see whether the Knights hand Kelly his maiden IPL cap tomorrow or whether he has to bide his time until he gets an opportunity.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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