Having already bought Bengal Ranji captain Manoj Tiwary during the auction in Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders have now signed three more Bengal players -- Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Shreevats Goswami and Mohammad Shami Ahmed -- for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League.
While former Bengal captain Shukla was a part of the Kolkata outfit in the last three seasons of the IPL as well, Goswami and Mohammad Shami are the new recruits.
Goswami, who is a native of Kolkata, made his IPL debut with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and played for them in the last three editions.
The Bengal wicket-keeper batsman is happy to be associated with his home team, saying it is only "fitting to play for my home city, Kolkata."
The 21-year-old, who began playing at the age of 11, had represented Bengal and the country at the U-19 level. He played a crucial role as opener and wicket-keeper during India's Under-19 World Cup victory in Malaysia in 2008.
Mohammad Shami, a medium-pacer, made his Ranji debut for Bengal against Assam in November last year and also represented Bengal in Twenty20s this year.
The Knight Riders now have four players from Bengal in their ranks.
"We are delighted that in addition to Manoj Tiwary, who we picked at the auction, we have signed three very promising players from West Bengal. This is in line with KKR's ongoing commitment to providing a platform for talented players from its catchments area," KKR's CEO and Managing Director, Venky Mysore, said.
"Our coach Dav Whatmore has been assisting CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) and working with the U-19 team, with a view to developing the local talent. We will continue to identify and nurture talent from the region," he added.
KKR have also included Mumbai left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla and Himachal Pradesh wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla in their line-up.