Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders have decided to part ways with head coach Jacques Kallis and his assistant Simon Katich.
The decision brings to an end a nine-year stay with the Kolkata outfit for Kallis who took over the head coach duties in October, 2015. Under the former South Africa all-rounder, Kolkata Knight Riders have managed to reach the play-offs on three consecutive occasions but the title has continued to elude them.
In the most recent 2019 edition, the team missed out on play-off qualification after finishing fifth on the table despite making a blazing start to their campaign.
“Jacques Kallis has been an integral part of the KKR family and will always remain so,” KKR chief executive Venky Mysore was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“We will be exploring ways of working with Jacques as we pursue our vision of establishing the Knight Riders brand as a global brand,” he added.
“After nine fantastic years with KKR since 2011, as a player, mentor and Head Coach, it’s time to explore new opportunities,” Kallis said on his part in a separate statement.
“I would to like to thank the owners, management and fellow players for many happy memories.”
No replacements for Kallis and Katich have been announced yet by Kolkata Knight Riders. The franchise are two-time champions of the IPL and managed to win the title in 2012 and 2014.
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The 12th edition of the IPL is over with Mumbai Indians pipping Chennai Super Kings to the post by one run.
There was a keen battle between bat and ball throughout the IPL and we witnessed some exciting and some not so inspiring passages of play.
Here we recognise the most memorable moments of IPL 2019, with a twist.
‘Fairplay’ award: Ravi Ashwin ‘Mankading’ Jos Buttler
Kings XI Punjab captain Ravi Ashwin lit a fire under the IPL by ‘Mankading’ Rajasthan Royals star batsman Jos Buttler. It was a crucial moment of the game with Ashwin not warning the batsman before going ahead with the dismissal. What’s more, Ashwin was seen halting in his delivery stride before running Buttler out, which did not go down well with most cricket experts across the world. Even Ashwin’s India captain Virat Kohli mocked Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ after taking his catch in a subsequent game.
Ashwin insists he was right to do what he did as he was not breaking any rules. Since that incident, batsmen have all but stopped backing up.
Captain Not So Cool: Dhoni argues with umpires
The match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings witnessed a truly rare occurrence – MS Dhoni completely losing his cool.
In the final over of a close chase, Ben Stokes bowled a high full-toss to CSK’s Mitchell Santner, leading umpire Ulhas Gandhe to signal a no-ball for height.
However, square-leg umpire Bruce Oxenford overruled his colleague’s decision which resulted in Dhoni blowing his lid off, storming on to the pitch and pointing angrily to the umpire as he marked his protest.
Dhoni was fined half his match fee. After the game, his former India partner Virender Sehwag stated he had never seen Dhoni so emotional and charged up while playing for India.
Crash of the season: RCB
Not only was it an epic crash, the cricketing world saw it happen in slow motion. From the start, it looked like Royal Challengers Bangalore were going to have another horror run, with their exceptionally weak bowling attack and non-existent batting line-up outside Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
It came as no surprise that RCB were the first team to get knocked out of the playoff race. Kohli’s acumen as a T20 captain also came under scrutiny as another season went by with RCB failing spectacularly.
How much longer the franchise puts its faith in Kohli remains to be seen because IPL heavyweights like Rohit Sharma, Dhoni and even Ashwin have proven to be much better tacticians when it comes to picking the right squad.
Foes turn friends: David Warner and Jonny Bairstow
They are expected to be fighting it out after the World Cup in whites during the Ashes in England in opposite camps. But in India, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow teamed up to form the most devastating opening partnership.
In just nine innings, the Sunrisers Hyderabad openers went past Warner and Shikhar Dhawan’s all-time record of 731 runs for the first wicket in a season. If the two had played together throughout, maybe Sunrisers would have gone deeper into the season.
Both players will take the great form from IPL into the World Cup and it was all because of a partnership no one thought would be this good.
Superhero of the season: Andre Russell
With dodgy knees and a hurt wrist, KKR all-rounder Andre Russell inflicted a level of pain on bowlers they hadn’t endured before. Sustaining a strike rate of well over 200 throughout the season, the Jamaican hit an astonishing 52 sixes and scored more than 500 runs.
Cricket hadn’t seen such a sustained spell of power hitting against all types of bowlers. One wonders what the scenario would have been if Russell was fully fit.
He was more than handy with the ball as well, picking up 11 scalps. But Kolkata management made a mess off his batting position, pushing him down the order instead of up. By the end of the season, even Russell was forced to admonish his team’s poor decision making.
Youngest at heart: Imran Tahir
The Chennai Super Kings veteran spinner has the heart of a teenager. The 40-year-old Tahir celebrates each wicket as if it’s his first. The 12th edition of the IPL saw 26 trademark Tahir celebrations as he became one half of the two-man driving force in Chennai’s campaign along with captain MS Dhoni.
During the tournament, Dhoni revealed he had told Tahir that neither he nor Shane Watson will bother running after him to celebrate each wicket. While both Dhoni and Watson are much younger than Tahir, it’s the South African who turned out to be the livewire of CSK’s squad.
After what has been an exhilarating IPL 2019 campaign, we have compiled our Dream XI.
David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad
A sensational return to the IPL after a one-year absence for the Australian who finished as the top-scorer despite playing only 12 matches. Scored 692 runs overall at a staggering average of 69.20 and a strike-rate of nearly 144.
Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals
The decision to bring back the India stalwart to his hometown franchise paid dividends with the left-hander showing his class and experience. In all, 521 runs were a handsome return for Dhawan who finished as the second-highest Indian run-scorer.
Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians (c)
A decent showing from the Mumbai skipper following a dreadful 2018 campaign. Having returned to his favoured opening slot, Rohit chipped in with 405 valuable runs while leading his side to a record fourth title.
KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab
The KXIP opener backed up his 2018 displays with another prolific campaign that saw him finish second in the run-scoring charts. Six fifties, one superb ton and a total of 593 runs meant Rahul also booked his World Cup spot.
MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings
Although CSK had to content with a runners-up finish, veteran Dhoni continues to go strong in the IPL. The India stalwart averaged over 83 with the bat and bailed out his side on several occasions while his glovework remained top-notch.
Hardik Pandya – Mumbai Indians
The all-rounder was Mumbai’s player of the tournament with several match-winning displays with both bat and ball. His 401 runs came at an astonishing strike-rate of over 191 while he also fetched 14 crucial wickets.
Andre Russell – Kolkata Knight Riders
The most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament, Russell took IPL 2019 by storm in a power-packed display. The KKR man struck 52 sixes while maintaining a strike-rate of over 200 and also chipped in with 11 wickets.
Imran Tahir – Chennai Super Kings
Tahir continues to grow strong at 40 with his 26 wickets in the 2019 edition being the most by any spinner in IPL history. He did it all while maintaining an economy-rate of less than seven.
Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals
Rabada finished just one wicket behind his compatriot Tahir in the wicket-taking charts with the Proteas pacer’s 25 scalps being a major reason for Delhi’s fine campaign.
Shreyas Gopal – Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan man outbowled plenty of more illustrious wrist-spinners in the competition with 20 wickets in just 14 appearances. His hat-trick against RCB which included the wickets of Kohli and ABD was sensational.
Jasprit Bumrah – Mumbai Indians
Bumrah’s stellar man-of-the-match display in the final was only a continuation of what he had done all season. The India man showed why he is considered the best limited-overs bowler around with his 19 wickets coming at an economy of 6.63.
Deepak Chahar – Chennai Super Kings