Calcutta: The first day of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) trials witnessed 32 players sweating it out at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground, on Wednesday. The team’s assistant coach Vijay Dahiya and batting coach Woorkeri Raman were present during the six-hour trial.
Out of 32 cricketers, 12 were from Bengal. The KKR camp had originally invited 14 players from the state, but Ankit Kesri and Amir Gani could not attend the trials. While Ankit is suffering from an eye infection, Gani is on national duty.
The 12 were Debabrata Das, Veer Pratap Singh, Sayan Sekhar Mondal, Alok Pratap Singh, Vivek Singh, Arnab Nandi, Iresh Saxena, Sudip Chatterjee, Sandipan Das, Ravikant Singh, Pritam Chakraborty and Sreyansh Ghosh.
Among the 20 outstation players, Manpreet Juneja (Gujarat), Gurkeerat Singh, Siddharth Kaul (both from Punjab) attracted attention.
A surprise visit by Laxmi Ratan Shukla created a buzz. Shukla said it was a mere ‘courtesy visit’. Shukla is among the list of capped players for the IPL auctions, scheduled to be held in Bangalore, on February 12-13.
“I share a cordial relation with most of the KKR guys. I know Raman Sir very well and Vijay is a dear friendů They just called me and I came on a courtesy visit,” said Shukla.
Meanwhile, the KKR trials have disrupted CAB’s Senior Knockout tournament fixtures. With some of the vital players of Shambazar Club, Town Club, Kalighat and Eastern Railway in the trials, most of the ties had to be postponed.
A Shambazar official voiced his grievance. “I don’t know how the CAB has given permission to KKR to hold the trials when it has its own knockout fixtures. We are missing players like Vivek, Veer Pratap, Alok Pratapů This being a knockout match, we cannot take a chance.”