Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have an interesting journey as a franchise in the IPL. In the first three years, they found it difficult to reach the playoffs and the management seemed clueless about how to manage a T20 team. Since 2011, they picked a great team in the Auction and got a great leader in Gautam Gambhir who has delivered them two titles in 2012 and 2014.
In the last couple of years, they haven’t made the playoffs, but they were almost there and missed out on net run rate. KKR is building a franchise where they are trying to develop players for the future. Many players enjoyed their time at KKR and ended their IPL career in the same franchise. So, let’s have a look at the five players who ended their IPL career at KKR.
5. Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson played for Kolkata Knight Riders late in his career but that was his last team in the IPL before he announced his retirement. The Australian fast bowler was a part of the KKR team in 2018 when the team reached the playoffs under the captaincy of Dinesh Karthik.
Mitchell Johnson played only six games for KKR, but his experience would have helped the likes of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti who were part of the KKR squad. IPL 2018 was his last IPL year, and he ended his career at Kolkata Knight Riders.
4. Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg, the left-arm wrist-spinner was an integral part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team. He played for KKR even at the age of 43. Hogg played 11 games for Kolkata Knight Riders and picked up 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.73.
He helped a spinner like Kuldeep Yadav who is also a left-arm wrist spinner. Hogg enjoyed his team at KKR and he was really committed to that franchise and hence he ended his IPL career with the same team.
3. Morne Morkel
Gautam Gambhir in one of his interviews said that he bought Morne Morkel in his team because he didn’t like to face Morne Morkel in the game. It is better to face him in the nets than to face him in a game. Morkel was a part of the KKR squad in 2014 which lifted the IPL trophy.
Morkel has played 29 matches for KKR and picked up 32 wickets at an economy rate of 7.80. The 2016 IPL Eliminator was his last IPL game which KKR lost. He was a key bowler for KKR whenever he played for them.
2. Brett Lee
The Australian pacer started the 2012 IPL on a bang as he rattled the stumps of a young Unmukt Chand in the opening game against Delhi Capitals. Lee played for two IPL franchises but most of the games he played were for KKR.
He played 25 games for KKR and picked up 16 wickets at an economy rate of 7.58. He was part of the 2012 KKR squad which won the trophy. Brett Lee retired from the IPL after the 2013 season and since then comes as a commentator in each IPL Season.
1. Jacques Kallis
Kolkata Knight Riders bought Jacques Kallis in the 2011 Auction, and he was a great player for them. Kallis was part of the 2012 and 2014 squads which KKR won. He was an integral part of both the squads and played a crucial knock in the 2012 IPL Final when they were chasing a huge total.
The South African all-rounder played 56 games and scored more than 1200 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders. He played his last IPL game in 2014 but still wanted to be associated with the franchise. He was the head coach of the KKR franchise till 2019 but was replaced by Brendon McCullum in 2020.