Is the Kolkata Knight Riders really Kolkata?
After the omission of Shakib, Shah Rukh Khan’s team is now made up of outsiders. Captain Dinesh Karthik is from Chennai. Kuldeep Yadav is from Uttar Pradesh. Shubhaman Gill is from Punjab. Nitish Rana is from Delhi. The question has arisen in India itself, is the Kolkata Knight Riders really Kolkata?
The team is from West Bengal, but there is no Bengali cricketer in that team! Shakib Al Hasan, the world’s best all-rounder, was the only Bengali in the Kolkata Knight Riders for a long time.
It is not that Bengali cricketers do not get a place in any team of IPL. They are seen every season in franchises other than the Knight Riders. This time too Riddhiman Saha, Mohammad Shami, Srivastava Goswami, Ishan Porel, Shahbaz Ahmed will play in IPL. But no one becomes a knight. Interestingly, there are local cricketers in the rest of the IPL teams except the Knight Riders. And the locals have no chance in Calcutta.
Ashok Dinda questioned the issue, ‘There is no Bengali cricketer in the Kolkata team. I don’t know why. Does that mean that no Bengali cricketer is eligible to play in IPL? I do not understand that. The problem is, they do not bid for anyone in Bengal at auction. Benki Mysore just wants to take on the South Boys team. Sometimes it fights at auction for someone whose reason doesn’t come to mind. This time Pat Cummins took so much money. I don’t know how much Cummins can do. ‘
West Bengal Ranji Trophy-winning captain Sambaran Banerjee was also surprised. He cited the example, “There are many better cricketers in West Bengal in this format than in other franchises where local players from other states are. There is a lot of talent beyond those who are playing in Ranji.
They play T20 very well. Unfortunately for us, KKR does not look for them or treats them like stepmothers. Uses like an owner-worker relationship. I am the owner, which can make me happy, that’s the attitude. This is depriving many young people of Bengal .’- Kalerkantha