Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum spoke about their retention ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 Mega Auction. He said they have secured four players with rare skill-sets.
KKR retained Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy.
Speaking after the retentions were announced, McCullum said:
"I think the four guys that we have – Narine, Russell, Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer – in them we have four skill-sets that are not easily available in any kind of auction situation. The guys tick off some skill-sets that are rare and I feel very lucky to have been able to secure those guys."
He talked about another good aspect about the retentions. He said they have picked two players who had been with KKR for a long period of time and two more who are promising talents.
"Another good aspect is that two of them have been at KKR for a long period of time and then you’ve got both Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer who have been here a couple of years and are obviously really developing and emerging talents. We are very fortunate to be in the position we are in," McCullum said.
Meanwhile, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said they are very pleased with the retentions. He added that they formed "a very good nucleus" for the franchise.
"Amazing that they continue to show me their love" - Andre Russell on being retained by KKR
Andre Russell, who was KKR's first retention for Rs 12 crore, spoke about the franchise continuing to show faith in him.
"Over the last eight seasons, I’ve been a Knight Riders player and it’s actually amazing that these guys continue to show me their love," Russell said.
Varun Chakravarthy, who was retained for Rs 8 crore, said he was excited to continue to be part of KKR. He added that he hoped to play in front of the home crowd next season.
"I’m really excited to be a part of KKR because this time I hope we will get to play in front of the Indian crowd at the Eden Gardens with the fans fully supporting and shouting for us and I hope I’ll be able to make them proud," Chakravarthy said.
Apart from the two, Venkatesh Iyer was also retained for Rs 8 crore and Sunil Narine for Rs 6 crore.
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KKR reached the IPL final in 2021, losing out on the title to Chennai Super Kings. They will be looking to go one better next year.