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L Balaji appointed KKR bowling coach

L Balaji picked up 44 wickets in 42 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders have named former Indian seamer L Balaji as their new bowling coach for the 2017 IPL. He replaces Wasim Akram, who said "professional commitments and time constraints" had prevented him from being with the team this year.

Balaji, who represented Knight Riders between 2011 and 2013, is currently in his first season as a full-time bowling coach with his former state side, Tamil Nadu. "I had thoroughly enjoyed my stint as a player for KKR," he said, "And I am delighted to be back to the franchise that I have admired."

Knight Riders chief Venky Mysore was pleased to have one of his old team members back. "It is great to welcome Bala back to the KKR family. He was an integral part of our team and played a key role in helping us win the championship in 2012."

The 2017 IPL is set to begin on April 5 with the final scheduled for May 21.