Indian Cricket League

We've shortlisted ICL players for Knight Riders - Buchanan

Alex Brown

June 2, 2009

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John Buchanan, coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, speaks at the function, Indian Premier League, Kolkata, March 11, 2008
John Buchanan: "I think that is a situation that could work well for KKR." © AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders have been actively scouting ICL batsmen and John Buchanan, the franchise coach, believes an influx of players from the unsanctioned Twenty20 league could solve many of his team's problems. While it's not yet clear how or when ICL players will be incorporated into the league, Buchanan said KKR were ready to snap up a number of batsmen whom they have been monitoring for several seasons.

"I said right from the outset that we were short of quality Indian top-order batsmen and that is still the case," Buchanan told Cricinfo. "The ICL has released quite a few players in the last little while. There are quite a lot of good, young Indian batsmen among them and I think that is a situation that could work well for KKR.

"We've shortlisted about half a dozen Indian batsmen in the ICL. Now we're just waiting to hear back from the IPL as to how they will approach this issue of letting players in - if there will be a draft or an open market."

Whether Buchanan is around to oversee the purchase of ICL players remains a matter of conjecture, with recent media reports in India suggesting the former Australian coach is facing the sack in the wake of KKR's last-placed finish in 2009. When asked whether he expected to return with Kolkata next season, Buchanan offered a qualified answer - "I do at the moment" - but admitted to uncertainty over his future.

"It's all under review at the moment," he said. "There's lots of conjecture out there at the moment, but it will come down to what the team wants and how the owners feel. Nothing is finalised. Shah Rukh was not over there for the final stages of the tournament. I have spoken with Jai Mehta, but he said he had been finding it difficult to get in touch with Shah Rukh."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

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