‘That gives a chance to someone like Gill or Rana’: KKR head coach on absence of overseas player in UAE leg of IPL 2021
Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum has raised his concerns over the availability of the overseas players in the 2nd half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 which will be held in the UAE in September-October. The 14th edition of the IPL was suspended on May 4 after its bio-bubble was hit with a number of Covid cases. However, the BCCI confirmed the shift in the venue last week.
While the BCCI is keen to conduct the remainder of the IPL, the question looms over the availability of the overseas player, given the tight international schedule. ECB director Ashley Giles had already said the board is unlikely to alter its home season for the rescheduled IPL. On the other hand, Cricket Australia is yet to discuss this with its players who came out of quarantine on Monday.
KKR have some of the top-performing foreign stars, including captain Eoin Morgan and pacer Pat Cummins, who are unlikely to return for a rescheduled league. Their absence would affect the side that had struggled before the suspension of the tournament.
While speaking to Sports Today, KKR coach McCullum said, “If we are to lose some of those guys because that would be really disappointing. Structurally we had set it up to rely on those people. Some of those personalities, which we had picked, I knew if we were under pressure, they would still be ready for the long haul and still remain very calm during those key times,” McCullum told Sports Today.
“I think of Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan, really calm and cool customers. If we were to lose them, then we have to find guys to step up into those roles, that's exciting and a good opportunity for some other guys.
The former New Zealand and KKR batsman further said there are several ‘Indian boys’ who can step up and grab the opportunity.
“That might be some of the Indian boys and they might not be ready for such kind of responsibility just yet. That brings an opportunity, that gives a chance to someone like Shubman Gill or Nitish Rana to play beyond their years and grab the opportunity and drag the young Indian boys along. I am excited about what lies ahead and it's not going to be easy,” he added.