Andre Russell is still our player, we have the right to retain him, says KKR official
The IPL Governing Council’s announcement about the IPL’s retention policies ahead of the 2018 grand auction has created stir for all franchises involved in the tournament. A franchise can now retain five players opting for either three pre-auction retentions and two RTMs or two pre-auction retentions and three RTMs.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ video analyst, A R Shrikanth, added clarity to the future of Windies all-rounder Andre Russell, a key player for their side who missed out on last year’s edition because of the one-year ban he faced for violation of the ICC anti-doping code. He said, “We did not terminate Russell’s contract. He is still our player. We have the right to retain him if we want,” as reported by Sportskeeda.
Last season, the Gautam Gambhir-led side roped in New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and Chris Woakes as the two all-rounders who could fill the gap left by Russell. Since both these players did a decent job in their few outings for the team, the future of the Jamaican ahead of the upcoming IPL auction was uncertain. More so, because it was also unclear whether the franchisee has the luxury of retaining him. Shrikanth cleared the air by confirming that KKR have the right to retain the 29-year-old as they did not terminate his contract but called for a replacement only.
Despite the fact that he’s one of the most sought-after all-rounders in the cricket scene, he has not played any competitive cricket in the last one year and it will be interesting to see if KKR would take a gamble by retaining him especially when they already have a pool of players that they would like to continue their association with in the years to come. With the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa already in contention for the five-player retention quota, their decision about Andre Russell will be an interesting one. Russell’s ban ends on 31st January 2018.