Dinesh Karthik will remain the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) despite the franchise going for England’s World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan in the 13th Indian Premier League (IPL)auction here on Thursday.
Morgan, who has played for KKR before, went for Rs5.25 crore to KKR who staved off stiff competition from Delhi Capitals who were also interested in the swashbuckling southpaw.
“Dinesh is definitely our captain. We wanted to get as much experienced leadership as possible and Eoin Morgan is one of the very best leaders going around currently in our game,” KKR’s new head coach Brendon McCullum told reporters during the first break of the auction.
“A perfect leiutenant for Dinesh Karthik and he (Morgan) will also fill the gap at No.4. He is in the form of his life. He is going to be a fine asset coming back to KKR,” said the former New Zealand captain.
KKR also swooped Australia pacer Pat Cummins for a record Rs15.50 crore as the No. 1 Test bowler became the most expensive overseas buy in the history of IPL.
The men in purple joined the fierce bidding only at Rs15 crore after Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore had a war for the paceman.
Asked about the ploy, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said: “We would have come up earlier but then we saw the money for him was going up. We were interested in him. He was a key player we were targetting. We are delighted to get him.”
“I thought he was the best player in the auction so it was great to have him. He is grown into a robust player in terms of injury. He is now vice-captain of the Australian team and it’s a mark of his development of a player in the last couple of years,” McCullum added.
Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who had a base price of Rs2 crore, was bought by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) after a fierce bidding war with Delhi capitals for Rs10.75 crore.
“He was very much on our radar. We needed someone with X-factor. He has been with us before and knows the exact layout. Mental issues are things which come and go and we are very sure he will do well for us,” said Kings XI CEO Satish Menon. Maxwell is back in the mix after taking a break to tackle mental health issues.
India captain Virat Kohli’s RCB snapped up Australia limited overs captain Aaron Finch for Rs4.40 crore. Head coach Mike Hesson said the dashing opener could provide leadership to overseas players and that’s why he was picked.
“Finch brings a lot of experience in the group. It’s more about providing the some leadership within the overseas players. We wanted someone who is very experienced,” he said.
Quizzed about Kohli being in touch with them during the auction, Hesson said: “He is in touch with us and we are having his inputs.”
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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