Shreyas Iyer is set to make his comeback as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2024 season after missing out in 2023 due to a back injury. Nitish Rana, who was the stand-in captain for KKR in the last season, has been appointed as the vice-captain for the upcoming season.
Iyer was acquired by KKR for INR 12.25 crore ahead of IPL 2022 and led the team to a seventh-place finish with six wins and eight defeats. Unfortunately, a back injury sidelined him for the entire 2023 season, where Rana took over the captaincy as KKR finished in the same position with a similar win-loss record.
“I believe the last season presented us with several challenges, including my absence due to injury,” Iyer said in a statement. “Nitish did a great job not only filling in for me but also with his commendable leadership. I am delighted that KKR has named him vice-captain. No doubt it will strengthen the leadership group.”
There have been several changes within the KKR setup since Iyer last captained the side, with Chandrakant Pandit and Gautam Gambhir joining as coach and team mentor, respectively. Iyer has previously worked with Pandit in the Mumbai state set-up and briefly alongside Gambhir at Delhi Daredevils.
KKR had released a total of 12 players, including Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, and Umesh Yadav, ahead of the IPL player auction and they have a purse of INR 32.7 crore to spend.
“It was indeed unfortunate that Shreyas missed IPL 2023 due to injury. We are delighted that he’s back and at the helm as captain,” KKR CEO Venky Mysore said. “The way he has worked hard to recover from his injury and the form he has displayed is a testament to his character.”
“We are also grateful that Nitish had agreed to step into Shreyas’s shoes last season and did a great job. There’s no doubt Nitish as vice-captain will support Shreyas in every possible way for the benefit of #TeamKKR.”