IPL 2014 January 10, 2014

Knight Riders retain Gambhir and Narine


Kolkata Knight Riders have retained captain Gautam Gambhir and mystery spinner Sunil Narine for the 2014 season. Since they have retained two players, they will have two right-to-match cards and Rs 380 million at their disposal at the auction on February 12-13.

Gambhir became the most expensive buy ever at an IPL auction in 2011, when Knight Riders paid $2.4 million for him. The following year Knight Riders once again surprised everyone by going in for the relatively unknown Narine, who was bought for $700,000.

They proved to be smart investments as Gambhir and Narine were consistent matchwinners and played decisive roles in Knight Riders winning the IPL in 2012. Gambhir was the second-best batsman that year, while Narine finished as the second highest wicket-taker and the most economical bowler.

Although both Gambhir and Narine have been struggling with form, the franchise remained confident these are still their best two choices. Gambhir has lost his place in the India team but it's understood he will remain the Knight Riders captain. Gambhir's consistency, his reputation as one of the best players of spin on the subcontinent and his aggressive leadership were factors that the management took into account before retaining him. As for Narine, the franchise felt he remained the most promising of their bowlers - being young, he could only mature into a better bowler, they felt.

"It's a bit of a balancing act between retention, salary cap and the strategies," Venky Mysore, the Knight Riders' CEO, said. "Considering all this, it was the right approach for us." Mysore also said he was open to considering the right-to-match option at the auction. "There could be teams interested in the players who were with us and we could use the card to bring them back if we want to," Mysore said, without revealing any names.

India allrounder Yusuf Pathan, England batsman Eoin Morgan, Sri Lanka off spinner Sachithra Senanayake and South Africa allrounder Jacques Kallis are some of the players that the franchise could look at buying back at the auction.

After the specified amounts for the two players retained - Rs 125 million for player one and Rs 95 million for player two - are deducted from their salary cap of Rs 600 million (approx. US$ 9.6 million, at the current exchange rate), Knight Riders will be left with Rs 380 million to spend at the auction. This season, each squad must include no less than 16 and no more than 27 players, with a maximum of nine overseas players.

The amount deducted from the auction purse is not necessarily the IPL fee agreed to between the franchise and the retained player.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on January 24, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    I want to see Shakib, Shami, McCullum, PATHAN from old team. Would also want that Local talents like SHUKLA, DINDA & TIWARY should get a place.

  • hasib9 on January 11, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Shakib is one of those gifted players who can easily win the man of the series award if he gets a chance to play enough number of matches. Happy to see KKR didn't retain him. I want to see him in a team that needs a genuine allrounder. Allrounders that can be full time bowlers and full time batsman can bring balance to a team. Also eager to see Tamim and perhaps Mushfiq and Nasir as well.

  • Edansad on January 11, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    I think Kkr needs a good alrounder & also give him licence to hit so Shakib al hasan & kallis is good option for them but I prefer Shakib most because his left arm spin can be very deadly in slow pich I think u guys didn't forget his deadly spell 6/6 in Cpl.kallis is also good but his medium fast is not always handy & he is not as economical as Shakib.

  • gauravm5 on January 11, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    The best playing for KKR (considering available money, kolkatta & Indian slow tracks): Gambhir, Bisla/Saha, Manoj Tiwary, Sakib, David Hussey, Steven Smith, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Bhatia/Abdulla, Narine, Shami, Zaheer. The reason behind picking D Hussey & Steven Smith is their ability to thrash the spinners, both are equally good against Fast bowling. Also, D Hussey & Laxmi Ratan Shukla can contribute with few overs specially D Hussey on slow Indian tracks like Eden Garden, Chennai, Kotla and Hyderabad. With this squad, KKR would have 4 front line bowlers, 1 proper allrounder (Sakib, good with both bat and ball) and 2 useful part timers (Hussey & Shukla).

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    what about shakib al hasan?

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Please buy Mitch Johnson and bring back mcculum

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    u shd tk sehwag as a gambhir partner nd provide license to hit. it give confidence 2 gambhir also.finch,SA- de cock as a keeper, maxwell, philender,smith frm WI, tk anotr chnce 2 yousaf, root frm englnd, perera best allroundr,

  • Baundele on January 10, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Shakib was underused by KKR last year. Happy that he is not retained. I hope he plays for teams with better management.

  • gauravm5 on January 10, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    KKR should buy Kallis & Shami through Right to Match as Kallis is much much better than Indian bowlers except Zaheer. IF KKR get Zaheer then they can include big hitters like Finch and Steven Smith in their playing 11.

    KKR playing 11: Gambhir, Finch, Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Steven Smith, Saha/Bisla, Laxmi Ratan Shukla/Debabrata Das, Bhatia/Abdulla, Narine, Shami, Zaheer..Can juggle with David Hussey, Morgan, Ryan Ten & Sakib Al Hasan dependind on the form and pitch conditions.

  • dummy4fb on January 10, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    sakib nead kkr team So I think Mohammad Shami and either of McCullum or Shakib will be where KKR might use their right2match card.

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