In a much-anticipated move, Shreyas Iyer is set to reclaim the captaincy for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the upcoming IPL 2024, marking his return after being sidelined due to a back injury during the 2023 season. Nitish Rana, who capably led the team in Iyer’s absence last year, has been appointed as the vice-captain for the upcoming season.
Expressing his eagerness to lead the team once again, Iyer acknowledged the challenges faced by KKR in the previous season and commended Nitish Rana for his leadership. “I believe the last season presented us with several challenges, including my absence due to injury,” said Iyer. “Nitish did a great job not only filling in for me but also with his commendable leadership. I am delighted that KKR has named him vice-captain. No doubt it will strengthen the leadership group.”
The KKR team has undergone several changes since Iyer’s last stint as captain. Working alongside Chandrakant Pandit and new team mentor Gautam Gambhir, Iyer is set to bring his experience to a revamped leadership structure. Gambhir, who led KKR to their IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, is expected to add valuable insights to the team.
Iyer, having previously collaborated with Pandit during his early years in the Mumbai state set-up and briefly with Gambhir at Delhi Daredevils, expressed optimism about the upcoming season. His initial stint as an IPL captain occurred in 2018 when he took over the reins from Gambhir at Delhi Daredevils.
KKR, gearing up for the IPL player auction on December 19, has released 12 players, including notable names like Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, and Umesh Yadav. With a purse of INR 32.7 crore at their disposal, the team aims to make strategic choices to strengthen their squad.
KKR CEO Venky Mysore expressed enthusiasm about Iyer’s return, highlighting the captain’s resilience in overcoming the injury setback. “It was indeed unfortunate that Shreyas missed IPL 2023 due to injury. We are delighted that he’s back and at the helm as captain,” said Mysore. “The way he has worked hard to recover from his injury and the form he has displayed is a testament to his character.”
Mysore also extended gratitude to Nitish Rana for stepping into Iyer’s shoes last season, emphasizing that Rana, as the vice-captain, will continue to support Iyer for the benefit of #TeamKKR. The stage is set for an exciting IPL 2024 as KKR aims for a strong comeback under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer.