Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has added the head coach role at the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to his stewardship of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).

Last week it was announced that McCullum, in addition to taking up head coaching duties with the Hero Caribbean Premier League defending champions, TKR, he would be an assistant with parent organization, KKR in the Indian Premier League.

McCullum’s appointments had come just weeks after the former opener announced his retirement from all forms of the game.

According to KKR’s chief executive, Venky Mysore, McCullum is an ideal replacement for Jacques Kallis, former South Africa all-rounder.

"Brendon has been an integral part of the Knight Riders family for a long time," Mysore said.

"His leadership qualities, honesty, positive and aggressive style, combined with his natural ability to bring the best out of the teams he has been a part of makes him ideally suited to lead both KKR and TKR as a head coach."

McCullum believes both organisations have the kind of pedigree that makes it an honour to take on the roles.

"It's a great honour to take on this responsibility," McCullum said. "The Knight Rider franchises in IPL and CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket. We have fantastic squads in both KKR and TKR and I, along with the support staff will be looking to build on the success both franchises have enjoyed," said the aggressive opener.

McCullum ended his international career a few years ago, having scored 6,453 Test runs at an average of 38.64 from 101 matches. He scored 12 centuries and 31 half centuries along the way.

In ODIs, McCullum averaged 30.41, scoring 6,083 runs from 260 games. He would score five centuries and 32 half centuries in that format.

His aggressive style meant he was well suited to the T20 game and in T20 Internationals for New Zealand, he scored 2,140 runs from 71 matches at an average of 35.66. He scored two centuries and had 13 half centuries.

In franchise cricket, McCullum was a veteran of some 370 games, scoring 9,922 runs at an average of 29.97. In those almost 400 games, he scored seven centuries and 55 half centuries.

Former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, will be the next head coach of the Trinbago Knight Riders when the new season begins in just over a month.

McCullum, who retired from all forms of cricket earlier this week, will also join the Kolkata Knight Riders as the organisation’s assistant coach.

McCullum was supposed to play for the Glasgow Giants at the end of August in the Euro T20 Slam, but announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in the middle of the Global T20 Canada League last week.

McCullum, who may have still wanted to play in the Euro T20 Slam had to put that off because the CPL begins September 5, creating a clash for the new head coach.

"I owe it to myself and the teams I represent to close that chapter rather than just plough on regardless of what I know to be true," McCullum had wrote on Instagram.

"In T20 cricket, I've enjoyed so many varied challenges, I can leave the game knowing I left no stone unturned," he said.

Andre Russell was in the runs again as Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Hardik Pandya's onslaught for Mumbai Indians to end a six-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League.

West Indies all-rounder Russell blasted 80 from just 40 deliveries to help the Knight Riders reach 232-2 - the highest score posted by any team in this season's competition so far.

Shubman Gill made 76 as he combined with opening partner Chris Lynn (54) to put on 96 for the first wicket, laying the ideal platform for Russell, who came out to bat at number three.

Kolkata smashed 75 runs from the final five overs of their innings and appeared set for a comfortable victory when they reduced their opponents to 58-4 in reply.

Pandya made them work for the win by plundering 91 in a hurry - hitting nine sixes in his 36-ball knock - before he was caught by Russell, who capped a fine display by also taking 2-25 with the ball.

Sunil Narine and Harry Gurney also claimed two wickets apiece as Mumbai finished up on a respectable 198-7, leaving the final margin of victory at 34 runs.

 

ANDRE'S GIANT HITTING

Russell had called for Kolkata's management team to be flexible when it came to his batting position and he was duly given the chance to impress with a promotion up the order.

After managing a single from his first four deliveries, the Jamaican blasted back-to-back sixes at the end of Rahul Chahar's spell as he quickly moved through the gears.

He also took a liking to Lasith Malinga in the closing stages, smashing the Sri Lankan paceman for 20 runs in the final over of the innings to post his best score in a highly productive campaign.

Russell has now reached the landmark of 50 IPL sixes in 2019, while his tally of 486 runs means he sits only behind David Warner (611) in the top-scorers list.


PANDYA PUMMELS KNIGHT RIDERS

Mumbai lost Quinton de Kock for a four-ball duck as they struggled in pursuit of such a huge target. Gurney trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for 12 and Russell won the battle with West Indies team-mate Evin Lewis, who edged behind to depart for 15.

Pandya arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav (26) and, together with Kieron Pollard (20), added 63 for the fifth wicket.

The India international reached his half-century from just 17 balls – the quickest seen this season – but his fun came to an end when he hit a slower delivery from Gurney straight to Russell on the boundary.

With Pandya gone, Kolkata were able to enjoy the final two overs with a degree of comfort, easing to the 100th Twenty20 victory in the franchise's history.

Teenager Riyan Parag and the departing Jofra Archer lifted Rajasthan Royals to a three-wicket triumph in the Indian Premier League as Kolkata Knight Riders' misery continued.

The Knight Riders have not won since their last meeting with the Royals - a run now stretching to six matches - but captain Dinesh Karthik looked to have them on their way to victory on Thursday.

He made an unbeaten 97 to help set a target of 176, with the majority of those runs coming in the final few overs of Kolkata's innings after a slow start saw Varun Aaron (2-20) impress with the ball.

But the Knight Riders did not account for a crucial late partnership of 44 between Parag and Archer, who was playing his final match before leaving to link up with England for the first time.

Parag, just 17, hit 47, before Archer (27 not out off 12) took Kolkata to 177-7 with four balls to spare in a stunning finish.

 

AARON EVERYWHERE FOR ROYALS

The Royals bowled superbly early on to initially keep the scoring down, with Aaron setting the tone as he took two wickets for just 10 runs through his three overs in the powerplay.

In the field, Aaron caught at point from Nitish Rana (21) to check the Knight Riders' momentum again.

Some sloppy fielding and well-placed drives followed as Sunil Narine (11) threatened to partner the big-hitting Karthik, but Aaron soon intervened again, launching in a throw to see the West Indies man - deemed not fit enough for their Cricket World Cup squad - run out chasing a second.

KOLKATA'S KARTHIK KEEPS GOING

Aaron could do nothing to slow Karthik, though, and the Kolkata batsman inspired his side almost singlehandedly to a very solid total.

The Knight Riders were 100-4 through 15 overs but incredibly ended on 175-6, with Karthik contributing 55 of those 75 runs in a remarkable finish. Four of his incredible nine maximums came in the final two overs.

It was a much-needed contribution as Ajinkya Rahane (34), who agreed to join County Championship side Hampshire on Thursday, and Sanju Samson (22) combined for an early partnership of 53 from 32 deliveries in reply.

LATE PAIRING DOES THE JOB

The Royals had dropped Ashton Tucker off the back of three straight ducks, but they still struggled to fire after Rahane and Samson departed, with Narine snaring skipper Steve Smith for just two for his second wicket of the innings.

Piyush Chawla (3-20) also contributed handily for Kolkata with a trio of wickets and Rajasthan were left looking for someone to replicate Karthik's earlier efforts.

They had two men step up to the plate, though, in Parag and Archer.

The 17-year-old looked as though he would do it on his own when he rifled a big six in the penultimate over, only to then knock off his own stumps from the next ball, meaning it was left to Archer to bow out in style.

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, Dinesh Karthik, is defending the balance of his team, saying it is not overly dependent on the star power of Andre Russell. 

Virat Kohli's fifth Indian Premier League century helped Royal Challengers Bangalore record a much-needed 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, despite the best efforts of the in-form Andre Russell.

Captain Kohli led from the front, making an even 100, while Moeen Ali contributed 66 in a hurry as the Royal Challengers posted a formidable score of 213-4 at Eden Gardens.

Kolkata appeared set to fall well short in reply, labouring to 60-3 at the halfway stage following two early wickets for returning paceman Dale Steyn.

However, not for the first time this season, Russell produced an onslaught at the back-end of an innings to suddenly put the game back in the balance.

The West Indian all-rounder hammered nine sixes as he and Nitish Rana (85 not out) put Bangalore on the back foot, getting what seemed a nigh-on impossible equation down to 24 required from the final over.

Russell kept his side's hopes alive by hitting Moeen for six down the ground, leaving the equation at 17 off three, but a dot ball by the England spinner curtailed the Knight Riders' late charge.

The following delivery saw Russell run out for 65 and while Rana finished the game with another six, Bangalore had just about held their nerve under pressure. The victory is just their second of the campaign, though they remain bottom of the table.

 

KOHLI TIMES IT JUST RIGHT

With AB de Villiers not in the starting XI, the pressure on Kohli was even greater to perform for his struggling franchise.

The right-hander needed 40 balls to reach 50 but exploded into life after such a patient start, needing just a further 18 deliveries to make it through to three figures. He reached the milestone in glorious fashion, sending a cover drive to the fence for his ninth four.

Kohli had also smashed four sixes before he was caught off the final ball of the innings having put on 64 with Marcus Stoinis, who ended up unbeaten on 17.

Moeen had earlier dominated a 90-run stand for the third wicket, the England international belting six sixes. 

 

STEYN RUINS KOLKATA CHASE

In need of a boost to their bowling attack, Bangalore turned to Steyn. The South African bowler had last played for the team in the IPL nine years ago, yet he showed what they had been missing with an early burst to put the home team on the back foot.

He dismissed Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill in the powerplay, while the Knight Riders were further hampered by Robin Uthappa eating up 20 deliveries to make just nine runs.

Too many early dot balls came back to haunt them at the death as well, with Russell and Rana running out of time.

Still, Russell has now amassed 377 runs in the tournament this year, despite facing just 171 balls. His tally of 39 sixes tops the charts, as he sits 13 clear of fellow West Indian Chris Gayle.

Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine's fearless batting ensured Kolkata Knight Riders made light work of Rajasthan Royals in a dominant eight-wicket Indian Premier League win.

Steve Smith made 73 off 59 but the Royals' pedestrian 139-3 on a slow track at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium proved well below par.

Lynn (50) and Narine's (47) partnership had yet to truly burst into life this season, but an opening stand of 91 laid the foundations for a victory that was sealed with 37 balls remaining.

It is a win that sends the high-flying Knight Riders back to the top of the table after five matches, while the Royals are second-bottom with just one win to their name.


IN-FORM RUSSELL LEFT RESTLESS

Andre Russell has been the star of the IPL this season, smashing 207 runs from four innings at an astonishing strike-rate of 268.83.

But such was the ease of the Knight Riders' win, the West Indies international was not needed in Jaipur.

There was a display of 'Lynnsanity' as the Australia batsman smoked 50 off 32, nailing six fours and three sixes – including a mammoth effort over midwicket that struck the windscreen of a sponsor car.

Narine matched Lynn for fours and sixes, with his knock coming off just 25 balls.


SMITH SHOW IN VAIN, GURNEY IMPRESSES ON DEBUT

Initially, the pitch in Jaipur appeared favourable to the batsmen, but the fact the big-hitting Jos Buttler scored a sedate 37 off 34 suggested otherwise.

A sandstorm in the area before the match was more volatile than the Royals' batting, although Smith's 73 off 59 – including seven fours and a six – will be pleasing to Australia fans ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

Debutant Harry Gurney impressed for Kolkata with the ball, the seamer finishing with figures of 2-25 including tempting Buttler with a slower one that Shubman Gill took impressively on the deep-midwicket boundary.

The Rajasthan Royals attack could be forgiven for feeling nervous as they prepare to come up against the in-form Andre Russell on Sunday.

In the opening weeks of the Indian Premier League, the Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder has proven unstoppable, not only scoring consistently but doing so at astonishing speed.

The powerful West Indies international has thumped 207 runs in four innings at a sensational strike-rate of 268.83.

Russell is also averaging a six every three and a half balls he faces, having smashed 22 maximums from 77 deliveries. 

We take a look at Russell's innings in the tournament so far, including a spectacular knock that helped KKR complete an unlikely chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

March 24: Sunrisers Hyderabad (H)

KKR needed 87 off 7.2 overs in their tournament opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad when Russell came in at number five. 

They still required 53 with three overs remaining, yet somehow got home with two balls to spare as Russell blasted 49 not out from 19 balls, with the aid of four sixes and as many fours.

 

March 27: Kings XI Punjab (H)

Having scored at a strike-rate of 257.89 against the Sunrisers, Russell was even more destructive three days later versus Kings XI Punjab.

On this occasion, he needed just 17 balls to make 48 (at a strike-rate of 282.35) as Kolkata piled on 218-4 and recorded a comfortable win.

 

March 30: Delhi Capitals (A)

Russell was held back against the Capitals as wickets tumbled early in the KKR innings. 

After coming in at 61-5 in the 10th over, he simply bludgeoned 62 from 28 balls to guide his team to 185-8.

However, the Knight Riders' winning start to the season came to an end as Delhi matched that total before prevailing in a one-over eliminator as Russell finally failed to fire.

 

April 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore (A)

Even by his own standards, Russell made batting look ridiculously easy against Bangalore.

Kolkata once again needed 53 from the final three overs, as had been the case against the Sunrisers. This time, they knocked the runs off with five balls to spare, with Russell almost solely responsible as he cracked 48 not out in just 13 deliveries.

His innings featured seven sixes and a strike-rate of 369.23. Surely even he cannot top that?

 

Andre Russell produced an astonishing late onslaught as Kolkata Knight Riders made sure Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first win in the 2019 Indian Premier League.

The West Indies all-rounder belted seven sixes as he made an unbeaten 48 from just 13 deliveries, helping the Knight Riders overhaul their opponents' total of 205-3 with five balls to spare.

Having arrived at the crease with the score at 139-4 in the 16th over, Russell managed a single from his first four legal deliveries as the Royal Challengers appeared on course to break their duck in this season's competition.

However, his whirlwind knock made the task of 53 runs from the final three overs a breeze, with the five-wicket triumph lifting Kolkata up to second in the table.

Bangalore, in contrast, remain stuck at the bottom. A fifth successive defeat did not appear on the cards at the halfway stage of the contest, with two of their star names shining with the bat.

Captain Virat Kohli top-scored with 84 from 49 deliveries and shared a second-wicket stand of 108 with AB de Villiers, who made 63. However, Russell eclipsed the pair with a dazzling display of hitting down the stretch.

 

SOUTHEE SUFFERS IN THRILLING CHASE

When Tim Southee started the penultimate over of the game, the Knight Riders required 30 from 12 deliveries. By the time the New Zealander had finished his spell, the scores were level.

After Shubman Gill started the over with a single, Russell smashed 28 runs off the next five balls. A quartet of sixes included two over midwicket, while the boundary in the blitz came with a cheeky steer over wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel when Southee dropped in a short ball.

Russell has now managed 207 runs in this year's IPL from 77 deliveries, putting him third on the top-scorers' list behind Sunrisers Hyderabad duo David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. His tally includes an astonishing 22 sixes.

Kolkata needed their in-form player to fire, too. Chris Lynn made 43 at the top of the order and there were also contributions from Robin Uthappa (33) and Nitish Rana (37), though the Royal Challengers appeared to be in control until the game came to a dramatic - and hasty - conclusion.

 

KOLHI SHINES DESPITE RCB'S GLOOMY OUTLOOK

Bangalore have found runs hard to come by in this campaign - they had been bowled out for scores of 70 and 113 prior to Friday - but found some form after being put in by Kolkata.

Kohli produced successive drives for four to get up and running at the start of his innings, albeit Bangalore's run-rate slowed after finishing the powerplay on 53 without loss.

Opener Patel fell with the score on 64, trapped lbw for 25, but the initial breakthrough only allowed De Villiers to combine with his skipper in a thrilling century partnership.

After the former South Africa international departed, Marcus Stoinis made an unbeaten 28 in a hurry to lift Bangalore beyond 200, a good score but not quite good enough in the final reckoning to secure an overdue triumph.

Delhi Capitals claimed a thrilling victory after a Super Over in Saturday's Indian Premier League clash with Kolkata Knight Riders.

The hosts had looked set to prevail in the allotted 20 overs after needing six to win from as many balls, with Prithvi Shaw's 99 doing most of the damage in Delhi.

Kuldeep Yadav's superb death bowling extended the contest, but the Capitals' return of 10 in the Super Over proved sufficient as Kolkata could only score seven.

The result represents a fine response from the Capitals following their six-wicket loss to reigning champions Chennai Super Kings last time out.

Kolkata, meanwhile, suffered their first defeat of the 2019 campaign, with Andre Russell's remarkable 62 from 28 balls and Dinesh Karthik's 50 off 36 the only telling contributions in their innings of 185-8.

IT LOOKED A SHAW THING

At just 19, this was a display of exceptional confidence from Shaw, who thrashed 12 fours and three maximums in his fine 55-ball innings.

But he was denied a maiden IPL century as he top-edged a Lockie Ferguson delivery into the gloves of Karthik.

His side were four down and needed only 12 to win at that stage, but they floundered after his departure and finished in a tie on 185-6 as the visitors forced the Super Over. 

KNIGHT RIDERS KNOCKED OFF THEIR STRIDE

Kolkata downed Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab to make a fine start to the season, but they left their best efforts too late on this occasion. 

Kuldeep deserves huge credit for the way he managed the final over of the 20, conceding just five and dismissing Hanuma Vihari off the penultimate ball before the Capitals' Colin Ingram was run out attempting what would have been a match-winning second off the last.

But it was Kagiso Rabada who had the ball under his spell in the Super Over, his efforts including the dismissal of Russell, who had started ominously with a boundary.

Andre Russell came up trumps over Chris Gayle in the battle of the West Indian superstars as Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 28-run win over King XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Russell scored 49 off 19 and claimed 2 for 21 to score a second straight win for the Knight Riders.  Chasing a massive 218, King XI would have needed a big innings from Gayle who was off a strong start with 20 from 13 balls. 

Russell, however, put a stop to any hopes of a massive score after having the batsman caught, attempting to pull a delivery that hurried into him.  Gayle has been in good form, after scoring 79 in the team’s opening match against Rajastan Royals.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights over his teammate, a man known these days as the ‘Universe Boss’.

 "Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said.

 "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

Andre Russell produced another star turn to make it two wins from two for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and inflict further misery on Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin.

Ashwin made the headlines for the wrong reasons in Kings XI's opener against Rajasthan Royals, mankading Jos Buttler to secure the key wicket of the England star to help his side seal victory.

He has faced significant criticism in the aftermath and his team were comfortably beaten on Wednesday, thanks largely to Russell.

Player of the match in Kolkata's win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Russell struck 48 off just 17 deliveries as the Knight Riders posted a total of 218-4.

Russell's innings featured five sixes and he was ably assisted by Robin Uthappa, who struck an unbeaten 67, while Nitish Rana hammered 63 off 34 balls.

Kings XI's response was underwhelming and, despite half-centuries from Mayank Agarwal (58) and David Miller (59 not out), their 28-run defeat was already sealed before the final over.

ASHWIN'S AGONISING SPELL

Though he did not court more controversy, it was a chastening spell for Ashwin as Kolkata set about posting a challenging total.

Ashwin finished with figures of 0-47 from his four overs, the skipper the most porous bowler of an attack that floundered throughout.

His final over saw him hit for a pair of sixes by Rana, who was the star of the show until Russell's stunning late salvo.


RUSSELL DELIVERS AGAIN

Russell struck 49 off 19 in the win over Sunrisers and was in the mood again as he punished the Kings XI attack.

The all-rounder's blitz featured a run of eight successive deliveries where he either found or cleared the rope.

His thrilling cameo helped push Kolkata past 200 before he was denied a half-century by a fine Mayank catch on the boundary.

Despite that disappointment, Russell's devastating spell at the crease proved enough to ensure the target was well out of the reach of Kings XI.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will go head-to-head in the opening game of the 2019 Indian Premier League as defending champions Chennai Super Kings face Royal Challengers Bangalore.

An eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad brought a third title for Chennai last year and they have assembled a star-studded squad in an attempt to retain their crown.

The IPL will act as a Cricket World Cup warm-up for some of the leading stars over the coming seven weeks, while there are returns for some controversial figures.

Ahead of match one, we run through everything you need to know about IPL 12.

 

When does it start?

Saturday sees the tournament kick-off in Chennai as the Super Kings host RCB, with the home side looking to win a seventh successive game against their opening-day rivals.

When is the final?

As well as hosting game one, Chennai will also provide the stage for the final on May 12, but there are 59 games to play before the showpiece contest.

Which teams are competing?

The line-up shows the same eight franchises that competed 12 months ago, although the Delhi Daredevils have renamed themselves as the Delhi Capitals for 2019.

What happened at the auction?

Two players topped the auction list in December – Indian seamer Jaydev Unadkat and compatriot legspinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Unadkat will turn out for the Rajasthan Royals this year – his fifth IPL team – after they paid an eye-watering 8.4 crores for his services, a figure matched as Kings XI Punjab secured Chakravarthy.

England all-rounder Sam Curran was the most expensive overseas player after he signed for Kings XI for 7.2 crores, while household names like Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum and Alex Hales went unsold.

Who are the star players?

Chennai have the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to choose from, while RCB will be led by India skipper Kohli.

The new-look Capitals have teenage sensation Prithvi Shaw in their squad, while Shikhar Dhawan has joined from Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah make up a strong Mumbai Indians line-up, while IPL legend Chris Gayle joins Curran at Kings XI.

Kolkata Knight Riders have big-hitter Chris Lynn within their ranks, while fellow Australians Steve Smith and David Warner return following their 12-month suspensions.

The duo will be eligible to compete for the Royals and Hyderabad respectively from March 29, when their bans are lifted.

England hopeful Jofra Archer joins Smith at the Royals, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for company. Meanwhile, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is one of Warner's team-mates.

Windies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite and the entertaining, emerging star, Shimron Hetmyer have been sold to the Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, respectively in Tuesday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) draft.

Five West Indians have been retained to their various teams for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. 

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