'Even my country didn't invest that much in me:' Russell takes a dig at CWI while acknowledging KKR's support
Andre Russell may not be at his explosive self with the bat in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but the West Indies T20 maverick remains an integral part of the plans for two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Russell has had a poor season by his standards, operating at an uncharacteristic SR of 138.46 over eight innings with an average of only 18 for his 108 runs. At a time when KKR would've hoped for their belligerent allrounder to provide some cover for the side's longstanding bowing issues, he hasn't been able to deliver upto his match-winner's image.
The cricketer, however, made his presence felt in the last game for KKR when they took on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a near must-win fixture. He brought his disciplined and underrated right-arm seam bowling to the fore and finished with superb figures of 2/29 in KKR's 21-run victory.
The Andre Russell-KKR association has been such that the franchise has never lost faith in the cricketer through thick and thin and provided him with all the necessary support even when he has been down with injuries. Russell says what the KKR ownership group and support staff have done for him even Cricket West Indies (CWI), with which he has had a sustained rift, hasn't provided.
Russell takes aim at CWI while lauding KKR support
The 35-year-old noted how KKR have provided him with financial support to deal with a career-threatening knee injury, which has plagued him since the time he made his international comeback for the 2019 World Cup. Russell says CWI hasn't been involved in the process and it's the KKR medical staff which made sure he saw the right medical experts.
"Where I was, a few years ago, KKR actually make things happen for me where they send me to get proper treatments on my knees. That's something special to me to be honest. No other franchise or even my country never really invest that much on me," he told host broadcaster Star Sports during an interaction.
Also Read - 'Unacceptable behaviour:' Simon Doull lashes out at Kagiso Rabada for this reason
While CWI can turn around and argue that Russell has hardly ever been available for international selection, having not played for the West Indies since the 2021 T20 World Cup, the cricketer says lack of communication and respect for his domestic T20 commitments from the board has been his major bone of contention.
"I'm happy here (at KKR). I don't see any other franchise I would love to be a part of in this tournament because I've been here for about 9 years now," Russell stood firm.
"Been here for so many years, I meet these guys, get closer to them every year. When cricket isn't there, I'm still in communication with Mr Venky (Mysore). I look up to him, I really respect him."