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Are KKR's Overseas Players Unhappy?

March 28, 2024 14:26 IST
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IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders Coach Chandu Pandit with KKR Mentor Gautam Gambhir at a team training session. Photograph: BCCI

Overseas cricketers at the Kolkata Knight Riders were frustrated by Head Coach Chandrakant Pandit's 'militant' style of functioning during IPL 2023, former KKR all-rounder David Wiese has claimed.

Weise played three IPL games for KKR last year.

'He (Pandit) is known in India as a very militant type of coach. He is very strict, very disciplinarian that type of stuff. Sometimes in franchise cricket, when you have overseas guys, who've played all over the world, they don't need anyone coming and telling them how they need to behave, what they need to wear and what they need to do the whole time. So, that was tough,' the former South African and Namibian cricketer on the podcast Hitman for Hire: A year in the life of a franchise cricketer.

Wiese, who was part of the Namibia side that played the 2022 T20 World Cup, said he saw players unhappy with Pandit's style of coaching.

'...he liked to do things a certain way and that didn't sit well with certain players. It caused a little bit of tension in the changing room. Guys were frustrated, there was a lot that changed over the last couple of years (when Brendon McCullum was around) and the new coach brought in some new things that he though would bring success to us,' Wiese, who first played the IPL in 2015, said.

Pandit took charge as KKR's head coach after McCullum quit the job in 2022. The much-admired coach, who played five Tests for India, coached Vidarbha to successive Ranji Trophy titles in in 2018 and 2019. He later guided Madhya Pradesh to its maiden Ranji title in 2022.

IMAGE: David Wiese said he was frustrated for being left out from the KKR team despite decent showing in the three matches he played last year. Photograph: CSK/X

Two-time champions KKR had a disappointing season last year finishing seventh and Wiese said he felt frustrated because he didn't get more opportunities to showcase his talent.

"...that frustration was more because of the fact that I played those games. I didn't really get the opportunity to do much.

'I did hit a couple of sixes but didn't really get the opportunity to showcase my skills there, and never got picked again in the team that was struggling with players,' he added.

'I think if I hadn't played a single game it would've been fine but the fact that I played three games, had a taste, did relatively well and then didn't get another chance in a team that is struggling, that was the more frustrating part.

'As the tournament goes on, you kind of sense whether you have a shot at qualifying or not. It's not about whether you're playing; it's just about spending another couple of weeks away from family. For me personally, the result of the game didn't matter that much, but I still got pulled into personal performances.'

Wiese represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2015 and 2016 before his KKR stint.

'I don't know if that's because I've played in every single franchise tournament now. Honestly, it felt like just another franchise tournament. It didn't have the hyped feeling.'

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