Windies all-rounder, Andre Russell recently made his comeback to competitive cricket after serving a ban of one year.
He was banned last year after being absent for test on three occasions.
The time, after being banned, was tough for the all-rounder as he had to miss competitive cricket during the period.
He also could not play IPL, which also saw him missing out on big bucks.
The biggest concern for Russell was to maintain his fitness during the banned period, and he got assistance when IPL franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders accommodated Russel with personal training staff,
“These Super50 games I’ve played – it was good that KKR remained part of my comeback process and sent a sports therapist to assist me in the tournament to make sure I was in top physical condition and I thank them for that. After I got banned last year, maybe a week after, KKR reached out and we negotiated that I would be signed this year on return,” Russel told FirstPost.
KKR already had plans with Russell, and they retained the player on the IPL retention day, along with Sunil Narine.
The IPL franchise ensured that the player does not have to worry about fitness issues.
KKR would also like to reap benefits out of the player when he lands in India to play the eleventh edition of IPL.
The chances of KKR looking at him as a potential captain may not bbe ruled out.
He, along with Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik, seems to be the perfect choice for the captaincy post.
Their T20 credentials are too much to be ignored, and with KKR not having a captaincy material, these three players have bright chances.
Earlier, Chris Lynn was also in the race, but a shoulder injury has ruled him out.
His participation in the tournament is still in doubt.
Kolkata Knight Riders will open their IPL campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8, with a home game.
Russell, one of the two players to be retained by the franchise, is currently playing domestic Super50 cup in West Indies.
He is not the part of the Windies squad for the 50-over World Cup qualifier.
He was not available to play the tournament, as per Chairman, Courtney Browne.
Though the player does not buy the argument of him putting T20 league ahead of country and he said:
“I’ve seen the comments bashing me, saying that I am not interested in playing for West Indies and turned my back on the team. I would never do that. West Indies made me who I am at this moment and I’m not going to burn my bridges. I had reached out to the president, coach, directors, captain and I explained to them this is going to be the situation. Because I’ve been out of cricket for 14 months and to be coming back in at a crucial point when West Indies need to qualify for a World Cup… I didn’t want to hinder someone else who would be more match-ready and disadvantage the team.”
Windies have a bright chance of making it to the World Cup as they have included heavyweights in their side for the qualifiers, which starts next month.
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