Bollywood actor and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan on Monday (April 9) opened up about his team’s separation with two times IPL winning skipper – Gautam Gambhir. Khan made it clear that KKR parted ways with Gambhir by mutual consent as they wanted to try something new in the 11th edition of Indian Premier League.
“I can’t thank him (Gambhir) enough. We had some conversations and it was mutually decided the way we’re looking at the team was a little different concept,” Shah Rukh Khan quoted as saying by PTI.
During his seven-year stint with KKR as a captain, Gambhir has led the team from the front and has played an instrumental role in winning them the 2012 and 2014 trophy. Before playing for Kolkata, the southpaw has represented Delhi Daredevils from 2008 to 2010 and in IPL 2018 he is leading the same franchise. Gauti was roped in by the Daredevils for INR 2.80 crores during the IPL auction in January.
Shah Rukh also praised the newly appointed KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik and urged the Kolkata fans to extend their full-hearted support towards the team post-Gautam Gambhir era.
“I think it’s our duty as people of Kolkata and Bengal to make Dinesh happy being here. Dinesh is ready to take on that mantle and hopefully, he will do well. But first, we have to show support,” Khan said.
“Dinesh was very happy (with the decision). We thought that we would have everything new. We had done that before also – change the whole team and start anew. My whole idea is to make Kolkata and my team proud. I hope each boy in our team plays well, stays healthy and is happy, and I think Kolkata would want that,” he added.
During the auction, KKR had bought quite a few India Under-19 World Champion stars, namely – Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi. Moreover, they have secured the services of some young exceptional talents like Tom Curran, Rinku Singh and Apoorv Wankhade.
Shah Rukh took pride in the fact that they boast the youngest team in the IPL this season.
“Always the idea was to bring in young people and hone their skill. There have been so many instances in the past. Like Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, they have played for us and done well. We just thought about the concept of bringing the young ones. God willing they will do well and make Kolkata proud,” the King of Bollywood said.
“The idea is to continue that. This year we thought about changing the whole team. We might have the youngest team in the whole of IPL. It just makes everyone feel more happy, and there are opportunities for youngsters,” he concluded.
Under Karthik, KKR have already started their campaign in a grand style as they defeated RCB by 4 wickets at the iconic Eden Gardens on Sunday (April 8). The Kolkata-based franchise will now play their next game against CSK on Tuesday (April 10).