Kolkata Knight Riders stars Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav are looking forward to the start of the 2020 Indian Premier League, albeit belatedly.
The tournament was meant to be played earlier this year, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The rescheduled start date is 19 September 2020.
“This IPL will be different. What has happened in the world has pained us deeply and it is surely a challenge to play cricket. But we understand that when we play the game, we bring happiness to our fans,” captain Karthik told the franchise's official website.
“Yes, there will be a bio-bubble. Yes, we haven't played or trained extensively for the last few months. Yes, the road ahead may be full of obstacles. But we promise to give it all.”
The Kolkata Knight Riders have won the IPL twice, in 2012 and 2014. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions. Mumbai have four IPL titles – the most among all franchise. The Chennai Super Kings have three.
“Initially, it was very tough to adjust when the lockdown was imposed, because we were unable to practice outdoors. But I am completely ready now. I can't wait to get back in action,” added spinner Yadav.
Gill Geared Up
Batsman Gill has been praised by new head coach Brendon McCullum. The former New Zealand captain has succeeded former KKR head coach Jaques Kallis.
“I think we all are really desperate to play because for a long time, we were in our houses and we have only been prepping mentally. We all are really excited. I'm very excited to go out there and express myself,” concluded Gill.
Other KKR Stars
Kolkata's squad also features Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins, England batsman Tom Banton, New Zealand speedster Lockie Ferguson and a host of local talent.
West Indian duo Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, who are currently playing in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League in Trinidad and Tobago, will also be in the Knight Riders squad.
The IPL 2020 will be played in the United Arab Emirates. It was also hosted by the UAE in 2014. Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will again be the host cities.