Confident of a turnaround, the Gautam Gambhir-led revamped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) left for Chennai today to cross swords with defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match of Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 4 on April 8.
The Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, hailed as one of the most glamorous outfits on the block, is the only team which has failed to book a semi- final berth in past three seasons of the cash-rich IPL.
The side was captained by former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on two occasions -- the first and the third edition -- whereas swashbuckling Kiwi wicket-keeper batsman Brendon McCullum was at the helm in the second edition, but a place in the knock-out stage remained elusive.
Having bit the dust thrice, the new KKR management headed by Venky Mysore decicded to go in for a major overhaul this time and took a bold decision to not retain any players, including Ganguly, McCullum and the explosive Chris Gayle of West Indies.
They acquired some big fish like World Cup final star Gambhir, Baroda dasher Yousuf Pathan and South Africa batting mainstay Jacques Kallis in this year's auction.
Besides Kallis, other major foreign recruits are England star Eoin Morgan, Bangladesh and Netherlands all-rounders Shakibul Hassan, Ryan Ten Doeschate and veteran Australian pacer Brett Lee.
They also invested in some valuable domestic players like speedster Laxmipati Balaji and Delhi transfers Pradeep Sangwan and Rajat Bhatia.
Sounding confident of the team's prospects, bowling consultant Wasim Akram said, "A captain who leads from front, a batting line-up which includes some of the most explosive T20 batsmen, a talented pace attack and some genunine all-rounders make KKR a formidable side."
The new skipper was also confident the team doing well this season.
The outfit had finished second from bottom in the inaugural edition and was placed last in season two. In 2010, the side missed a semi-final berth by virtue of a poor run-rate.
At Rs 34 Crore, MS Dhoni highest insured in IPL
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is the highest earning cricketer in the world, is the most heavily insured player for the forthcoming Indian Premier League T20 tournament which begins on April 8.
An insurance firm official confirmed that the Indian captain, who led CSK to victory in IPL 3, has been insured for Rs 34 crore by the Oriental Insurance Company (OIC)-a rise of Rs 24 crore over his insurance cover for IPL 3. CSK has paid a premium of Rs 16 lakh, which includes travel risk cover, including medical emergencies, personal accident and loss of baggage.
Suresh Raina, retained by CSK, will get an insurance cover of Rs 20.5 crore. Incidentally, little master Sachin Tendulkar, who will play for Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai Indians for the fourth consecutive season, has an insurance cover of only Rs 12 crore.
Mahela Jayawardene, the skipper of Kochi Tuskers Kerala, has been insured for Rs 20.5 crore. "He seems to be most highly insured overseas player for the tournament," said a source, adding, "Speedster Dale Steyn from South Africa, who will be playing for Deccan Chargers, has been insured for Rs 16 crore."
According to a source from the insurance industry, every insurance company and IPL team have a different methodology of finalizing an insurance policy. "For example, Ambani has decided to take comprehensive cover for his team, which includes event cancellation cover, workmen's compensation, personal accident cover, medical cover and so on," he said. "For this, he is likely to shell out a premium of around Rs 1.5 crore to the National Insurance Company."
The cover will be active till the time the final is played on May 28. The policy can be invoked in the event of the death of a player or total disability, permanent partial disability or temporary total disability. The policy holder will be paid compensation for injuries that are sustained on and off the field during the duration of the tournament. One of the rules of IPL is that even if the player is benched due to a disability, he has to be paid his dues by the franchisee. The cover is being taken by the franchisee to cover his or her financial interest.
Many owners are still in the process of finalizing the insurance cover for their team. "Most of the franchise representatives involved in the insurance negotiations don't understand the trade and there's a lot of confusion," said a source. "Hence the delay in finalizing the insurance policy for many of the teams."
The official added that many franchise owners seemed to be keen to save money on premium. "However, they do not realize that most of the rates for such risky policies are based on those quoted by reinsures like Llyods of London. Hence, many teams are taking only partial cover to save money on premium, which is a bit risky," he said. Leander Dias, insurance official from OIC, who is an expert on cricket-related policy, is negotiating with several franchises but refused to comment on the developments.
Incidentally, for the recently held ICC World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) bought a group personal accident policy from OIC. Each player can expect a financial benefit up to Rs. 2.3 crore under this policy.
Checkout IPL 4 schedule here and the team information on the following links.
- Chennai Super Kings
- Mumbai Indians
- Delhi Daredevils
- Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Deccan Chargers
- Kolkata Knight Riders
- Rajasthan Royals
- Kings XI Punjab
- Kochi Tuskers Kerala (New Addition)
- Sahara Pune Warriors (New Addition)
Also checkout Venue information:
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