Kolkata Knight Riders have named England fast bowler Tom Curran as the replacement for injured Australia pacer Mitchell Starc in the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). During the IPL auction in January, Starc was roped in by KKR for INR 9.4 crores but the lanky left-armer suffered an injury that ruled him out of the Wanderers Test against South Africa and the entire IPL.
The 23-year-old Curran will join the Kolkata-based franchise before their first game in the cash-rich event against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8 at the Eden Gardens. Ecstatic with the signing, the Surrey pacer said he will look to learn from other players by competing in the pressure environment of IPL.
“I’m thrilled and excited to be joining Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL. I know from chatting to other players I can learn a lot from being in that environment, skills that I hope will benefit Surrey and my chances of representing England again this year and if selected, for next year’s World Cup,” Curran was quoted by English county website as saying.
“I want to thank Alec Stewart and everyone at Surrey County Cricket Club for supporting my ambitions and allowing me this great opportunity. I can’t wait to represent Surrey again when I return, hopefully with a few more tricks up my sleeve,” he added.
When asked about Curran’s IPL contract, Surrey’s director of cricket – Alec Stewart said: “Losing Tom to the IPL for the first part of the season is not ideal from a Surrey viewpoint but as a club we have a duty to help England and our players in achieving their goals and ambitions.
“The experience he will gain through playing in the IPL can only help develop his game which in turn will give England a greater chance of winning the 2019 World Cup. His absence from the Surrey team will allow other players on our staff to stand up, perform and grab their opportunity,” he explained.
As far as Curran’s credentials in T20 cricket is concerned – the Cape Town born speedster has played 51 T20 matches, taking 53 wickets at an average and economy rate of 27.16 and 8.25 respectively. He made his Test debut during the Ashes last December and has represented England in 2 Tests, 8 ODIs and 6 Twenty20 Internationals thus far.