IPL 2024: KKR players acknowledge contributions of Gautam Gambhir and Abhishek Nayar after lifting IPL trophy

KKR won their third IPL title after beating SRH in a one-sided final.

KKR won the IPL title | BCCI-IPLKolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ended their dominant run in the IPL 2024 season with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a one-sided final at Chepauk on Sunday (May 26).

Asked to bowl first, KKR bundled out SRH for a paltry 113 in 18.3 overs. Mitchell Starc and Andre Russel shared five wickets while youngsters Harshit Rana and Vaibhav Arora claimed three scalps between them.

In reply, KKR gunned down the target without breaking a sweat in 10.3 overs. While Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 39 off 32 balls at the top, Venkatesh Iyer stayed unbeaten on 52 off 26 balls to seal the deal.

After the triumphant campaign, KKR players highlighted the vital roles of mentor Gautam Gambhir and assistant coach Abhishek Nayar in shaping the team into a championship-winning squad.

"I cannot tell how happy I am," Harshit, who picked up two wickets in the final, said. On the other hand, Russell was lost for words as he tried to hold back his tears.

"No words to describe. It means so much. I am happy that all of us were very disciplined and worked towards one goal. This franchise has done a lot for me. It's a big gift from all of us to them," Russell said.

Varun Chakravarathy, who impressed one and all with his spin-bowling exploits throughout the season, acknowledged Nayar's contributions.

"All I can think right now is of the person who built this Indian core: Abhishek Nayar. 'Please come here'," Chakravarathy said, asking the former Mumbai batter to join them.

Venkatesh Iyer also underlined Nayar's role in the team's success. "Really happy with it. As Varun mentioned, Abhishek Nayar deserves all the credit in the world. Some contributions go unnoticed, I want to make sure they don't. This guy deserves all the credit in the world for the way he has been working for this franchise.”

KKR vice-captain Nitish Rana was effusive in praise of team mentor Gautam Gambhir, who returned to the side ahead of IPL 2024.

"I want to share one short story that when GG bhaiya was named the mentor. I sent him a long message as I was really happy. But he replied saying, 'Thank you but I would be happy if we stand at the podium with the trophy in our hands'.

"Today is that day and I will never forget that message," said Rana.

Seamer Vaibhav Arora, who bowled a brilliant delivery to get rid of SRH opener Travis Head in the final, said, "My role is to take wickets with the new ball. After that the spinners were doing their jobs. So, today also the aim was to take wickets in the powerplay, which happened as well."

Rinku Singh said, "My dream of seven years is complete. Finally I will lift the trophy. I am proud of my whole team and GG sir. It was God's plan."

KKR's bowling coach Bharat Arun lauded the players for their impressive performances right through the season.

"I think it was pretty tough, the last two years. It was touch and go - we didn't qualify. It needed a lot of introspection and now we can savour this moment."

Commenting on Player-of-the-Final, Mitchell Starc, Arun said, "I think Mitch coming into the team boosted the confidence of other youngsters in the side. He is probably the best bowler in the world. Once he understood the Indian conditions, he was excellent.”

"Spinners mature with age, and with Sunny (Sunil Narine) and Varun bowling in tandem, it was superb," Arun praised the spin duo of Narine and Varun.

Talking about Narine the batter, he said, "He brought a totally different dimension to our batting. It was Gautam who insisted that he opened and it paid dividends. It's a great night and now it's time to celebrate."

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 27 May, 2024

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