Uncertainty over KKR’s participation in IPL 2015

MUMBAI: Indian Premier League (IPL) defending champions and the Shah Rukh Khan owned franchise Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) participation in IPL 2015 is as yet uncertain.

KKR has made its stand clear that if Sunil Narine, who is the trump card when it comes to their bowling attack, is restricted to bowl, the team will opt out of the cricketing extravaganza.

It all started during the Champions League T20, where Narine was banned following a suspect bowling action. The spinner then went to the nets and rectified his action, which met the criteria. International Cricket Council (ICC) has cleared Narine’s action and allowed him to bowl in the Cricket World 2015. However, the West Indian voluntarily opted out of the World Cup as he was not prepared to bowl at a competitive level in his new action.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the other hand refused to surrender to the threats of KKR and asked them to get Narine’s bowling action tested at Sri Ramachandra Medical College in Chennai. As per media reports, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalimiya said, “I have had a word with them (KKR). He will have to appear for the test again, does not matter once or twice.”

Soon after Dalmiya’s words KKR arranged the bowler's travel to Chennai. Narine reached Chennai on the morning of 2 April, 2015 and went through the tests in the presence of a top KKR official and other experts before leaving for Kolkata in the evening.

"We can only say that he has undergone the tests. We cannot give any further details," a The Times of India report quoted a KKR official as saying.

The official broadcaster of IPL, Multi Screen Media (MSM) has already sold its ad inventory and is preparing aggressively for the eighth edition of the tournament. When asked about the impact of the KKR – BCCI spar, MSM president Rohit Gupta told, “It is something between BCCI and KKR, and whatever happens will be decided by both of them.” 

If BCCI restricts Narine and KKR opts out of IPL, it will affect the ratings of the tournament and advertisers reach will be curtailed by 14 matches, which KKR is supposed to play against all other franchises.

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