VIVO IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders | IPL T20 2018 Teams: As the 11th season of IPL is approaching, every cricket fan is very excited and you can also feel the fever rising. Indian Premier League (IPL) also known as Vivo Indian Premier League is the most loved series of cricket as it brings players together from across the globe on one land. For IPL 2018 the player auction will be held on 27th and 28th January and matches will start in April.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
The team representing Kolkata city in the Indian Premier Leauge is Kolkata Knight Riders as KKR. When the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) created the cricket tournament IPL in the year 2007, eight teams were formed representing eight different cities. The team representing Kolkata was bought by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment in collaboration with Juhi Chawla and her spouse Jay Mehta. The team is currently captained by Gautam Ghambir while the head coach of the team is Jacques Kallis. The official founding sponsor of Kolkata Knight Riders was Finnish multinational communications corporations aka Nokia till 2014 while the co-sponsors of the Kolkata Knight Riders are Star Plus, Sony Music India, Ola Cabs, Reebok, HDIL, Kit-Kat, Sprite, Sansui, Royal Stag, Uber, Dish TV, CK Birla Group, U.S. Polo Assn., Gitanjali Group, SB Nation, Red FM 93.5, Doublemint, SAP AG and Seiko.
In 2015 after Nokia stopped sponsoring Kolkata Knight Riders, a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Gionee became their principal sponsor and also signed a three-year contract. While the new additions to the list of co-sponsors till 2017 are Lux Cozi, Jio, Pepsi, Fever 104 FM, Kingfisher Premium, Axis Bank, Greenply, Colors Bangla, The Telegraph, Exide and SRMB Steel and several others. The name of the team is a reference to the popular 1980’s American television series named Knight Rider. The home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders is Eden Gardens which is owned by the Cricket Association of Bengal and is the largest cricket stadium in India while the second largest in the world according to its seating capacity with over 90,000 seats.
In 2008, when the team was introduced, the initial logo of the team was a blazing golden Viking Helmet against a black background with the name of the team written in gold next to it. In the third season, the black background was changed to purple and in 2012 a new logo consisting of a blazing purple Corinthian helmet trimmed with gold, with the name of the team written within a shield was introduced.
During the first four seasons, the tagline of the team was “All the King’s Men” but in the fifth season it was replaced by “New Dawn, New Knights”. In early two seasons, the team’s official colors were black and gold where black represented Goddess Kali and golden color symbolizes the spirit of life. However, in the third season, the black color was replaced with purple and is the same since then. The jersey of the team is designed by a well-known Bollywood fashion designer Manish Malhotra. The theme song of the Kolkata Knight Riders is “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re” which translates to “we will act, fight and win!” and is composed by the iconic duo of Vishal-Shekhar.
All-Time Records in IPL:
|2008||6th League Stage|
|2009||8th League Stage|
|2010||6th League Stage|
|2011||4th League Stage|
|2013||7th League Stage|
|2015||5th League Stage|
|2016||4th League Stage|
|2017||4th League Stage|
Journey and Struggles of Kolkata Knight Riders:
In the year 2008 when the first IPL was contested the team included Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Angelo Mathews as all-rounders, Ricky Ponting was the main batsman along with Brad Hodge while McCullum and Wriddhiman Saha were wicketkeepers and bowlers like Umar Gul, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ajit Agarkar, Ajantha Mendis, Charl Langeveldt and Murali Karthik. The team’s captain from 2008 to 2010 was the former captain of the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum led the team in the year 2011 as a captain. In this season, Kolkata Knight Riders finished 6th in the league table whereas Sourav Ganguly is the highest run scorer with 349 runs and Umar Gul is holding the position of highest wickets taker for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008.
Season 2009 & 2010:
In the 2009 player auction, the team had to trade many players which included one of their best players Umar Gul who was also a key performer from the last season. The team bought Bangladeshi all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza that year and sent back two of its players named Akash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar due to their poor performance in the last season. Before the third season, the team acquired Shane Bond, Owais Shah, and Manoj Tiwary after releasing Ricky Ponting, Morne Van Wyk, Umar Gul, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar and Moises Henriques. This season is the worst season for Kolkata Knight Riders, they finished the league as last whereas Brad Hodge scored maximum runs and Ishant Sharma was the highest wickets taker for KKR side. Thus the team that was formed for the 2010 season consisted of Shane Bond, Mashrafe Mortaza, Brendon McCullum, Charl Langeveldt, Ajantha Mendis, Brad Hodge, Angelo Mathews, David Hussey, Owais Shah and Chris Gayle. In this season, Sourav Ganguly was the top run scorer and Murali Kartik was the Top wickets taker for Kolkata Knight Riders and they finished 6th in the league table in this season.
Season 2011 wasn’t a golden season for Kolkata Knight Riders as that season surrounded them in a lot of controversies and protests because that year they did not buy their former captain and icon player Sourav Ganguly at the auction. This decision by the franchise led to protest rallies, signature campaigns along with stadium protests by various fan groups such as “No Dada, No KKR” which grabbed a lot of press attention. After leaving Ganguly, the franchise bought Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan for a whopping $2.4 million and $2.1 million respectively. That year Haddin was replaced by Mark Boucher mid-season due to an injury. In this season, Jacques Kallis was the top run scorer and Iqbal Abdulla was the top wickets taker with 16 wickets in hand for KKR whereas KKR finished the season with holding 4th position in the league table.
In the year 2012 player auction, Brendon McCullum joined the team again along with Sunil Narine and South African fast bowler Marchant de Lange. Later 4 more players were added to the team, including Debabrata Das, Iresh Saxena, Saurashtra’sChirag Jani and Sanju Samson. In this season, Kolkata Knight Riders keep rising in the league table with great enthusiasm. Gautam Gambhir scored 590 runs and Sunil Narine took 24 wickets in that season whereas they finished the tournament as the champions of this season by defeating Chennai Super Kings.
In the year 2013, two more overseas players were added to the team named Sachithra Senanayake and Ryan McLaren. The signing of these two players can’t affect the squad of Kolkata Knight Riders and they finished this season by holding 7th position in the league table. Gautam Gambhir is the only batsman to score 406 runs and Sunil Narine took 22 wickets in this session.
In season 2014 player auction the KKR management retained their key performers Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine. That year team also brought back Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan along with Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan. New international faces in the team were Morne Morkel, Chris Lynn, and Patrick Cummins while Indian players were Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Piyush Chawla. In this season, there is a great comeback done by KKR for holding the Vivo IPL cup and they have done that by defeating Kings XI Punjab in the finals. Robin Uthappa is one of the players who scored maximum runs in the tournament and Sunil Narine also took 21 wickets in this period.
In the year 2015, there were new additions to the team which included veteran Australian bowler Brad Hogg and wicketkeeper Sheldon Jackson. In this season also Kolkata Knight Riders face many up and downs and they finished the season by holding 5th position in the league table. Robin Uthappa was the top run scorer with 364 runs and Andre Russell was the top wickets taker with 14 wickets in the hand for KKR.
In season 2016 the team traded Ryan ten Doeschate along with pace bowler Pat Cummins. This year the Knight Riders grabbed attention as this time they changed their approach to selecting players as till now they were concentrated on spinners but in 2016 player auction they acquired as many as six pacers in the form of all-rounders named John Hastings, Colin Munro, Jason Holder and Rajagopal Sathish as well as blowers named Ankit Rajpoot and Jaydev Unadkat, last but not least they signed one spinner named Manan Sharma. In this season also the performance of Kolkata Knight Riders was not up to the mark but they performed well as they are holding 4th position in the league table. Gautam Gambhir was the man who scored 501 runs and Andre Russell took 15 wickets for KKR in this session.
In 2017 player auctions the Knight Riders franchise made a lot changes in their team, this season they traded Shaun Tait, Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, John Hastings, Manan Sharma, Rajagopal Sathish, Jaydev Unadkat and Colin Munro. New players were Trent Boult, Darren Bravo, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rovman Powell, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, R Sanjay Yadav and Ishank Jaggi. Due to one year ban on Andre Russell for doping the franchise replaced him with Colin de Grandhomme for the season.
For the year 2018, in January auctions the team only retained West Indian all-rounders named Sunil Narine and Andre Russell while they released their two-time title-winning captain Gautam Gambhir.
Important Things to know about Kolkata Knight Riders:
The team has immense popularity around the globe due to its association with celebrity owners, but in its early stage, the team was surrounded by a lot of controversies and also had poor on-field performance till first three seasons. However, in the fourth season, the team improvised and qualified for the playoffs as well as Champions League Twenty20. In 2012, the team bagged their first IPL champions title by defeating Chennai Super Kings and repeated the feat in 2014 where they defeated Kings XI Punjab in final. Team Kolkata Knight Riders hold the record for the longest winning streak by any Indian team in T20’s. The leading run-scorer of the team is former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir while the leading wicket-taker is Sunil Narine. And for season 2018, the owners have retained Sunil Narine and Andre Russell.
Since KKR hasn’t been performing so well since last few seasons but it is being expected that this year they will rise and shine and will give us some nail-biting matches.