IPL 2023: KKR bring in this England star as replacement for injured Shreyas Iyer
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have brought in England's explosive opening batter Jason Roy as their formal replacement pick for captain Shreyas Iyer at this year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The two-time champions have signed the aggressive top-order right-hander for their middle-order linchpin and skipper after he had been ruled out of IPL 2023 with back injury.
Speculations had been rife around KKR's potential replacement pick for Iyer, who has been leading the franchise since IPL 2022. Ultimately, the think-tank led by coach Chandrakant Pandit arrived at Roy as their ideal plug.
On the captaincy front, the franchise had already announced their longstanding Indian recruit Nitish Rana as the stand-in skipper. Rana led the side against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in KKR's campaign opener in Mohali on Saturday (April 1).
Roy returns to IPL as KKR's Iyer replacement
Jason Roy had gone unsold at the mini-auction held late last year for IPL 2023 after registering at a sum of INR 1.5 crores but has now been signed by the KKR franchise for INR 2.8 crores.
The England cricketer makes a return to the IPL after skipping the tournament last year despite finding a base sum bid of 2 crores by Gujarat Titans (GT).
Roy had declared his unavailability ahead of the competition due to excessive physical and mental strain faced by the English international amidst a strenuous cricket calendar midway through the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his last IPL season played in 2021, the elegant batter struck 150 runs in his five innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Previously turning out for the Delhi side, Jason Roy has played 13 IPL matches in his career at a strike rate touching 130.
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For England, the 32-year-old has played 64 T20Is at the highest level with 1,522 runs at a strike rate of 137.61. His tally features eight half-centuries. The right-hander can be a player of real impact value if he finds his mojo with the bat in hand.
KKR have brought in Roy at a time when they are also missing an allrounder in the squad for Shakib Al Hasan, who, too, is out of IPL 2023 due to international commitments. Who the franchise might appoint as their Shakib replacement would be interesting to see.