IPL 2023: Kolkata Knight Riders Sign Jason Roy As Shakib Al Hasan’s Replacement

Written by Mohan Sharma

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have announced the signing of England opener Jason Roy after all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan decided to pull out from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season. As per an IPL release, Roy has been signed for INR 2.8 crore for the IPL Season 16 from his base price of INR 1.5 crore. Shakib was the second marquee player to be out for the entire campaign after skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out over an injury.

Knight Riders, two-time champions, only signed one player in the form of Roy but had two players — Shakib and Iyer — ruled out in the last few days. It hasn’t yet been confirmed if the franchise is looking to sign a replacement for skipper Iyer.

Roy, who earlier featured in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, last played in the 2021 season for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 2021, he played five games, scoring 150 runs, including a half-century. The 32-year-old has played 64 T20Is for England, scoring 1522 runs at a strike-rate of 137.61 with 8 fifties.

First premier Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib pulled out of the tournament because of family reasons and international commitments and, the next day, regular Iyer, who is also their batting mainstay, was ruled out of the entire IPL as he will undergo a surgery to treat his back injury.

KKR had made Nitish Rana their stand-in skipper, assuming that their regular skipper would be back in the second half of the season but with Iyer ruled out completely, the Chandrakant Pandit-coached side may face a leadership crisis.

‘Accidental’ skipper Rana, who has experience of leading Delhi in white-ball cricket, has a big task ahead of him as the team desperately seeks some solace in its den.

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The Knight Riders will seek home comfort and look to return to winning ways when they face a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL next.

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Mohan Sharma