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IPL 2019: A few KKR players go to Mumbai for practice sessions raising eyebrows

The team also had an off day to regroup ahead of their next game.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik of Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo: IANS)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 turned into a nightmare overnight from a dream run for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Having won four of their first five matches, the two-time champions slumped to five consecutive losses – which is the worst so far after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s six defeats in a row. KKR will now need to win all their remaining four games if they aim to make it to the playoffs but of those four games, two are against their IPL nemesis Mumbai Indians (MI).

KKR next play Rajasthan Royals (RR), the only team they have beaten this season without a contribution from Andre Russell, on Thursday. However, in a decision that has raised quite a few eyebrows, the franchise allowed some of their players to travel to Mumbai and train at their academy ahead of the RR clash while the rest of the team was allowed to regroup.

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Soon after KKR were thumped by Sunrisers Hyderabad by 9 wickets in Hyderabad on Sunday, out-of-form captain Dinesh Karthik and some other players headed for Mumbai as they felt they could get a better practice session there, as per a statement from the KKR team management. Russell though returned to Kolkata. Interestingly, the KKR management had also said that the team has been given off to regroup ahead of the next game.

KKR stand baffles people

The mixed stand taken by the KKR baffled some people though they left it to the KKR’s own judgement. “Well, generally considering the format of the IPL and the travel involved, people generally like to rest whenever they can rather than flying down to another city to train for a couple of days. This actually makes it harsh on the bodies of the players. But then, nobody else can decide for them. Every team has the right to do what they feel is best,” Business Standard cited reports as quoting an official of one of the IPL franchises.

Another official said the facilities at the Eden Gardens have also been good and its wicket has improved in recent years.

“The wickets in Kolkata have good pace and bounce and even the practice facilities have been quite good under Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Sourav Ganguly. But the KKR management must have a reason behind their decision to fly a few players to Mumbai,” he was quoted as saying.

A source in the CAB said it was not aware of the KKR’s decision and that it has tried to provide the best of facilities.

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