Indian Premier League 2011 January 12, 2011

Kolkata sign up Iqbal Abdulla


Iqbal Abdulla, the Mumbai left-arm spinner, has signed a two-year deal with Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the fourth season of the IPL. Abdulla, who is also a useful lower-order batsman, was at Kolkata for the first three seasons, having been picked as their Under-19 draft in the first season, and now returns as an uncapped signing. "We needed a specialist Indian spinner to accompany Shakib [al Hasan] and Yusuf Pathan and we are happy to get Iqbal," a Kolkata spokesperson said.

Kolkata are talking to at least 10 or 12 uncapped players, some of whom played for the team in the first three editions of the IPL. Bengal allrounder Laxmi Shukla, Haryana wicketkeeper-batsman Manvinder Bisla and Delhi middle-order veteran Rajat Bhatia are some of the other names the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise is in talks with it.

Though Mumbai, the defending champions, were knocked out by Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals this year, Abdulla had a good season, ending as their top wicket-taker with 27 victims at an average of 22.11 in addition to notching up his maiden Ranji century, an unbeaten 150 against Saurashtra in their opening match. Abdulla averaged 47.75 with the bat in eight matches in the Ranji season. When Mumbai defended their crown in the 2009-10 season, Abdulla had a tally of 32 wickets.

Even though teams have until March 8 to sign uncapped players for the IPL, which starts on April 8, franchise owners and officials have shown desperation in the last few days to latch on to quality youngsters as soon as possible.

Kings XI Punjab have been lucky to get back three players who were part of their squad in the previous seasons: Punjab allrounder Love Ablish, Himachal Pradesh fast bowler Vikramjeet Malik and Uttar Pradesh left-arm quick Shalabh Srivastava have decided to stay with Punjab for the next two years. The franchise has also signed Sunny Singh and Nitin Saini, centurions for Haryana in the Ranji quarterfinals this year against Tamil Nadu, along with 23-year-old batsman Siddharth Chitnis, who made his first-class debut for Mumbai this year.

The BCCI has also made it clear that it is the players that have the final say on which team they wish to join. "Franchises have full rights to scout for players in their catchment area, but uncapped players have the right to negotiate," Niranjan Shah, BCCI vice-president, told IANS. "We are also keeping a close watch on any underhand dealings between the players and the franchises. All agreement will be tripartite, involving the board, the player and the franchise."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohammad on January 15, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @ asraruwant: 5 pace bowlers + 2 part time spinners and in Indian soil? I am still laughing.

  • Dhaval on January 14, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    MI signs Rayadu, T Suman and Satish....good looks good...

  • Asrar on January 14, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    My KKR XI in most of their matches will be 1) Jaques Kallis 2) Brad Haddin 3) Gautam Gambhir 4) Manoj Tiwary 5) Eoin Morgan 6) Yousuf Pathan 7)Laxmi Shukla 8) Brett Lee 9) Iqbal Abdullah 10) Laxmipathy Balaji 11) Jaidev Unadkat. The above team looks much much stronger than what KKR was fielding in their previous seasons. Good luck Shahrukh!

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    whoever kkr sign.HHHaaa...they will come at rocking bottom.

  • Mohammad on January 14, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    My mistake in my earlier post. Pathan will also be in Genuine Batsman category. So the list will be: Gambhir, Haddin, Kallis, Monoj, Morgan, Shakib and Pathan. Very very strong batting lineup indeed. backed by Shukla and Abdullah.

  • Rajat on January 14, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    KKR should sign Rajat Bhatia. That would land them with a much needed good Indian all-rounder. KKR should consider this side -- 1. Gambhir 2. Bhatia 3. Kallis 4. Tiwary 5. Morgan 6. Pathan 7. Doeschate 8. Shakib 9. Abdullah 10. Balaji 11. Unadkat

    So, Batsmen (8 in all) Openers: Gambhir - play his natural game with minimal risk, Bhatia - to be aggressive 3 & 4 Kallis (if Gambhir is out quick) , Tiwary (if Bhatia) 5,6,7 - - Morgan, Pathan, Doeschate -- best finishers of the game 8 - shakib - best suited for a few big hits Wicket keeper -- Eoin Morgan (yeah he can keep wickets as well) Bowlers (9 in all) Medium fast - Balaji, Unadkat, Kallis, Doeschate, Bhatia Spin -- Pathan, Abdullah, Shakib, Tiwary Only Abdullah, Balaji and Unadkat make to the playing 11 on basis of single skills. Bench: Haddin, Bisla, Goswami (wicketkeeper batsmen) Pattinson, Lee (bowlers) Shukla, (all-rounder). Indian Batsmen and bowlers required.

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    whoever kkr sign....they will come last dis tym

  • Mohammad on January 14, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    my KKR 11: 1. Gambhir 2. Haddin 3. Kallis 4. Morgan 5. Monoj 6. Shakib 7. Pathan 8. Shukla 9. Abdulla 10. Balaji 11. Unkadat. This will be a killer eleven. Pace bowlers: Kallis, Balaji, Unkadat, Shukla. Spinners: Shakib, Abdulla, Pathan. Genuine batsman: Gambhir, Haddin, Kallis, Morgan, Monoj, Shakib. Can bat: Abdulla, Shukla. Keeper: World class Haddin.

    Stll can change: Shukla for a genuine indian batsman if requires.

  • Pravansu on January 14, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    KKR should recruit Goswami immediately. My choice best KKR team is 1. Gambhir 2. Kallis 3. Tiwary 4. Pathan 5. Morgan 6. Shakib 7. Goswami 8. Lee 9. Abdulla 10. Balaji 11. Unadkat

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    What is Deccan chargers team doing? Didn't spend much in Auction either. Now there is no news about them signing any good player in domestic circuit. All good players are being poached one by one. Again we would have the likes Mohnish Mishra, Anirudh singhs in our team. Seriously bad judgement. If the motive was to save money, why did the owners buy a team? There were so many other possible ventures for them.

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