The Indian Premier League has been known to be one of the toughest T20 tournaments of the world and has proven to be a breeding ground for cricket players to come from smaller tiers and graduate into being household names. And the Kolkata Knight Riders have been home to many such players over the years. So, here’s a look at the names of the players whose career sparked while playing for KKR.
1. Shubman Gill
The star of the eyes of every single fan of the Indian Cricket Team, Shubman Gill, found the best place to showcase his talents in the Kolkata Knight Riders side when he was picked by the franchise in the 2018 edition of the tournament. Coming fresh out of India’s victory at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup, Shubman wasted no time and displayed the best version of himself to the players playing against him and the people watching him play.
3 editions of the tournament later, Shubman continues to be an integral part of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ setup and is truly one of the players whose career sparked while playing for KKR.
2. Manish Pandey
Before becoming a mainstay in the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad and an integral part of the Indian Team’s limited-overs sides, Manish Pandey was with the Kolkata Knight Riders, the team with which his cricketing abilities developed in the best ways possible. Under the mentorship of some of the best players from all over the world, Pandey developed leaps and bounds as a batsman and came to be the batting powerhouse that he is in today’s time.
While with the franchise, he made sure that he gave back to the team, helping them win the 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League, registering his name as one of the players whose career sparked while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. This is also because soon after that knock of his he got a chance to make his international debut.
3. Sunil Narine
Not many people knew about the humble and modest spinner from the Caribbean, named Sunil Narine until he was brought into the Indian Premier League and took the tournament and the minds of the fans and experts of the sport by storm.
The legendary player that he has come to be in the shortest format of cricket, had his beginnings in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp when he was picked in the year 2012. In that season of the tournament itself, he was picked as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, the feat that he again replicated in the 2018 edition of the tournament. It was with the KKR team, that Narine’s ability to open the batting in T20 cricket was first utilized, and it saw a lot of success.
4. Chris Lynn
Another player who after starting out with this Indian Premier League franchise went on to make it big in the international circuit, Chris Lynn, like Manish Pandey and others on this list is a player whose career sparked while playing for KKR. The explosive Queenslander made his presence felt in the smallest format of the game of cricket when he was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders, after spending two fruitless years in the Deccan Chargers Camp.
Lynn announced his arrival in style as he smacked 45 runs off 31 deliveries in his very first game and won the Man of the Match award. Many such performances followed and Lynn’s name came to be known as that of a player to watch out for in the cricketing circles. Even though he is not a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders rosters now, it is of no denying that it was that franchise with whom he made it big.
5. Nitish Rana
We may not know him to be that star player who wins the side every game that he plays, but since the day that Nitish Rana has come into the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, has made leaps of increments in his playing style and the subsequent performances that have followed.
After coming into the KKR team in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League, Rana’s performances have increased in ways that have made him be a part of the list of cricket players whose career sparked while playing for KKR. With him hitting the form at the right time ahead of IPL 2021, which is bound to give players a chance to come into the eyes of the Indian selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup, he would want to get even better as a player and evolve into being a front-runner for a World Cup team berth.