Although they started slowly in the tournament, KKR did well to win two trophies and establish a legacy in the competition. While they have mostly been careful about retaining and releasing talent, due to the auction dynamics, they have had to release a few good cricketers. Some of them have taken the next step by captaining another side in the tournament. In this article, we take a look at five popular players released by KKR who later captained a different side in the Indian Premier League. Since the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum captained KKR before skippering another side, we have not considered them for this list.
1) Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians)
Ricky Ponting is one of the popular players released by KKR who later captained a different side in IPL. One of the greatest captains in the game, it is surprising that until 2013, no one considered using Ponting’s skills as a skipper.
While he first played for KKR, Ponting came back five years later to IPL as a Mumbai Indians cricketer. He was appointed as the captain but gave away the responsibility midway. Rohit Sharma became the captain and that season, in 2013, Mumbai Indians won their first IPL trophy.
2) Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Not many remember, but Sanju Samson was part of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2012. However, the franchise could not afford a game for him and later released him to the auctions. It is in the following season that he announced his arrival with Rajasthan Royals.
For IPL 2021, the Kerala cricketer was appointed as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals. It was an important decision because, in recent years, RR was being led by out-of-form players like Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith. Sanju showed mettle with his captaincy skills, but his record of five wins in 14 games was not great.
3) Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Manish Pandey is one of the players released by KKR who later captained a different side in IPL. After being released by KKR before the 2018 auctions, it was in SRH’s final game of IPL 2021 that Manish managed to join this list.
With David Warner dropped, Kane Williamson and Bhuvneshwar Kumar injured, SRH had to assign the responsibilities to Manish. For the player, it was a tough task because they were up against a “nothing to lose” Mumbai Indians. Although Manish had a pretty good game with the willow, his team eventually lost the game.
4) Angelo Mathews (Pune Warriors)
Between 2009 and 2010, Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews played for KKR. However, he was released after he could not replicate the success that he found in international cricket in IPL.
Later, Pune Warriors signed up Angelo Mathews and had him at the helm for five games. Angelo could not change the fortunes of the franchise, as he returned with a win percentage of just 20. He has thereafter played for Delhi but has not featured in the league since 2017.
5) David Hussey (Punjab Kings)
David Hussey belongs to the rare breed of overseas players who have not captained their countries but have skippered an IPL franchise. The Aussie did that for Punjab Kings between 2012 and 2013. He had the responsibility for a total of 12 encounters, out of which Punjab won six games.
Hussey, though, was a good T20 cricketer and hence, KKR had him on the roster for the first three seasons. He scored 511 runs for the franchise in 23 encounters. After being released, Punjab signed him. Since his CSK stint in 2014, Hussey has not taken part in the competition.