Whispers of discontent in Kolkata Knight Riders’ camp | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Whispers of discontent in Kolkata Knight Riders’ camp

It's not as quiet as it seems on the surface. Deep down, things aren't perfect with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Nobody is complaining, there is no revolt or any obvious show of dissent, but an undercurrent of discontent becomes distinct if one digs deep, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Apr 30, 2009 03:30 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

It's not as quiet as it seems on the surface. Deep down, things aren't perfect with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Nobody is complaining, there is no revolt or any obvious show of dissent, but an undercurrent of discontent becomes distinct if one digs deep.

It's difficult to get the players to talk about it as the management has informally asked them not to speak to the media. The fact that players of most other teams are more approachable might put things in perspective.

When HT got some of them to speak after much coaxing, a few causes of angst came out. Some of them are unhappy with the way key decisions have been taken at the 11th hour like naming the captain a day before the start of the competition, selection of foreign and Indian players in the XI and in the squad and, of course, the manner in which Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar were sent back.

"Have you ever heard that even a Ranji Trophy team has named its captain 24 hours before the first match?" said a player surprised with the way coaching director John Buchanan and coach Matthew Mott have gone about things. "They are nice and helpful people, but the way they do certain things is strange. I agree Bangar isn't one for the future but he's still better than Arindam Ghosh (not a regular in the Bengal side who made his IPL debut on Monday).”

Another player questioned certain selections. "Most of our foreigners are doing nothing. I wonder why Moises Henriques (Australia) and Angelo Matthews (Sri Lanka) were chosen. And why spend so much on Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh) when you can't keep him in the XI?"

A player is pretty cut up with the preferential treatment being given to Henriques. "He ends up getting encouraged by Matthew (Mott) when he messes up in practice. The same mistake draws an opposite reaction from the coach if an Indian junior does it."

He adds that the big contingent of support staff isn't a problem. "They are professionals and good at their work. Indian players will benefit from them. Some of the decisions taken looked hasty but you can't blame them if the players don't deliver."

The timing of these decisions appears to be a sore point. "You planned for IPL-II for one year and ended up selecting players who you found unsuitable in the middle of the competition. It means you are using these matches as selection trials.”

These words may not scream but they definitely whisper and they won't go away till the team starts winning.