Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) have signed the New Zealand pacer Tim Southee for the remaining 31 games of IPL 2021. A franchise official has confirmed this news. Tim Southee will act as a replacement for Pat Cummins who has pulled out of IPL 2021 citing personal reasons.
Having been a part of IPL for six consecutive years, Southee had gone unsold in the IPL 2020 edition. His most recent appearance in IPL was for RCB in 2019, where he finished with a poor economy of 13 in the three games he played for the franchise.
The 32-year-old has played for big franchises such as Mumbai Indians(MI), Chennai Super Kings(CSK), and his most recent team being Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB).In 40 IPL games, he has picked 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.47. As the stats say, Southee hasn’t made a mark in IPL though he is the leading bowler for his country.
“Tim has been a strong player and has been the spearhead of the New Zealand team. In the UAE conditions, we hope he will be very effective,” a KKR official said. The exact amount of signing is not known but Cummins was brought in the Shahrukh Khan-owned franchise for 15.5 crores in the 2019 IPL edition.
Southee will be the third New Zealander in the KKR squad. He was expected to be a part of the New Zealand team for their tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan but he did not make it to the final squad under Tom Latham.
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KKR head coach Brendon McCullum is expected to take charge of KKR in UAE.McCullum has stayed away from the Caribbean Premier League(CPL) which started on Thursday(26th August). “He will be back for the IPL,” said the official of KKR, which owns the Trinbago Knight Riders team in the CPL.
KKR is currently in a losing place of seventh in the IPL points team with two wins in seven games. They have four points to their name. That’s why Southee has a huge responsibility on his shoulders since KKR hopes to make it to the playoffs. The experience of Southee combined with his skilled death overs bowling will surely help KKR.”He will be a backup to Lockie Ferguson. With his new ball skills, he should be very effective in the UAE conditions,” the KKR official said.
IPL 2021’s second phase begins on September 19 and the league matches will continue till October 10. Total 31 matches will be played with 13 matches scheduled in Dubai,10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi. It will be interesting to see whether Mumbai Indians defend their title yet again and create a history or if CSK steps up and continue their good form. We can’t rule out other teams too, perhaps DC might be crowned as the champions for the first time in IPL history.