All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has once again attributed his success and entry into the Indian cricket team to his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Iyer made his debut for India in the T20I series against New Zealand in November last year. He received a maiden call-up to the national squad on the back of his performance in the IPL 2021, wherein he smashed 370 runs at an average of 41.11, and a strike rate of close to 130, and scalped three wickets as well.
“Huge thanks to KKR. Had it not been for KKR, I wouldn’t have been anywhere. I had a decent Mushtaq Ali last year - a few good scores and one particular innings where I finished the game for my side. With these knocks coming in, KKR scouted me and they picked me in the auction. It was down to the wire in the auction. I was unsold twice and then picked by KKR in the final round,” Iyer said on chat show Backstage with Boria.
“Once I was in KKR, there was a point where I felt like I was somewhere, I am doing something correct in my life. Then the first phase happened and I did not get my opportunity. But, thanks to KKR for believing in me and making me understand that even though I am not playing, I am there in the mix. They did not ignore me altogether or any player for that matter. They always kept pushing me that I’ll play, and when I play, I am going to do well,” he added.
Thanks to Venkatesh Iyer’s exploits, KKR finished as runners-up in the last season after a disappointing start to their campaign.
“That spirit that KKR showed brought out the best in me. It would be very wrong if I say that it was me who did that. It was the team that made me do it, which is something I would like to cherish.”
“We were not where we wanted to be at the end of the first leg in India. But then came UAE and what happened was a story that can be told even 20-30 years later. It was a really special journey,” he said.
Ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, Knight Riders have retained Venkatesh Iyer for INR 8 crore besides retaining the services of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Varun Chakravarthy.