Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders, two-time IPL champions, staged a casting coup by announcing Bharat Arun - the man responsible for developing India’s pace bowling unit into a potent one - as their bowling coach for the 2022 season.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to becoming part of a highly successful franchise, such as the Knight Riders. I have admired the Knight Riders franchise for not only being very successful in the IPL & around the world in T20 leagues but also for the way it is very professionally run,” said Arun, whose long tenure with the Indian team ended along with Head Coach Ravi Shastri after the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year.
No sooner had the term of Shastri, Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar combine ended last November, cricketing circles were abuzz with talk of them taking up IPL coaching roles. Speaking to Gulf News soon after laying down his office, Shastri declared that he was ''game to taking up a IPL role'' though he is yet to be linked with any of the franchises.
Making announcement of his appointment, Venky Mysore, CEO & MD of KKR said in a statement: “We are very excited to have someone of the calibre of Bharat Arun joining us as our bowling coach. He will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to KKR’s strong support staff. We are delighted to welcome him to the Knight Riders family.”
Looking ahead at the prospect of working with the respected coach, Head Coach Brendon McCullum said: “A warm welcome to B. Arun to the KKR coaching staff.
''With a strong and successful pedigree in the international game, I’m sure Arun will complement the current staff we have and I look forward to working with him. His experience at international level and the ability to give confidence and clarity to our bowling group will be important, as we attempt to quickly align a new group of players to the values and style of play for KKR”.
Shreyas Iyer as captain?
Come the mega auction in February, the Knights management is believed to be eyeing an Indian player - who is a free agent with captaincy potential as they have released England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan. The name of Shreyas Iyer, who could be much sought after in the auction after leaving Delhi Capitals, is doing the rounds as a potential KKR captain.
As a player, Arun represented India in Tests and ODIs and was a very successful domestic player for Tamil Nadu. Arun started his coaching career with the Tamil Nadu state team and became the chief bowling coach at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. He then took over as head coach of the India Under-19 squad and under him, India won the U19 World Cup in 2012, in Australia. He took over the bowling coach’s role with the Indian team from 2014 and continued till 2020, barring a period when Anil Kumble was at the helm.