'3 months before the ban lifted, I went on beast mode': Andre Russell recalls 2017 ordeal, calls it the 'toughest year'
- IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell recalled the turmoil of 2017, when the West Indies all-rounder was banned for a year for doping-code violation.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell recalled the turmoil of 2017, when the West Indies all-rounder was banned for a year for doping-code violation. Russell called 2017 the worst year of his career revealed that even though there were people who tried to pull him down, the all-setback pushed the all-rounder rounder motivated him to come back strong.
"To be honest, that year was the toughest year. When you're doing well, sometimes people look for any reason to try and get it down. But that actually made me stronger. You know, Venky (Mysore) reached out to me, said they just want me to have a peaceful year to relax my head and to actually focus on cricket," Russell told KKR.in.
"Being away from the game for a year, you know a lot of people doubted that I would come back and do the same thing. And I say you know what, this is the big moment. And good players shine in the big games. Three months before the ban lifted, I went on beast mode, getting stronger, losing weight. I came back in 2018 in a good season for KKR."
And rightly so. Russell had a decent 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League scoring 316 runs with a highest score of 88 not out. The next year is when Russell really set the IPL on fire, blasting 510 runs with four half centuries at a strike rate of 204.8. Russell was part of the KKR unit when the team lifted the IPL trophy in 2014 and the all-rounder can’t wait to help the team repeat its feat from seven seasons ago.
"I have won the IPL in 2014, and the feeling that I got to see the guys with tears in their eyes, that's the type of feeling I want to experience again. I want to be on the podium. It should be pure purple and gold. We have a very strong team on paper. But the gameplay wasn’t," Russell added.