Two-time Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders have announced the launch of ‘KKR Academy’ - a first-of-its-kind program providing training facilities and coaching to the franchise’s players during the off-season.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who was a part of KKR’s support staff during IPL 2018, will serve as the head coach of the academy. KKR CEO and MD Venky Mysore announced Nayar’s appointment via a media release on Wednesday.
“Abhishek’s credentials as a cricketer and his deep desire and passion to help cricketers become better is very well known. We felt that he’s ideally suited to lead this initiative,” Mysore said.
"Post the IPL season, I had a meeting with Venky Sir to discuss the ways forward, and he was very keen on starting something where we can help the cricketers throughout the year," Nayar told KKR’s website.
"A lot of times what happens is that we come into the IPL and pick players based on their talent. Whether or not they do well depends on their own preparations, so we thought as to what we can do to affect that - to find a change where we can add a little more value to a cricketer's career and not just come and practice, do well in the IPL, and go away.”
The first camp, spread over two weeks, will start in Bengaluru with Rinku Singh, Apoorv Wankhede, Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill taking part in it. Five more cricketers will also be a part of the camp, consisting of training sessions which will include physical conditioning work and skill training on different types of pitches.
"The idea was to have a journey with them wherein you're taking care of them, understanding them, their problems, and the small difficulties they face through a season, not only in the IPL, but in the Ranji trophy or in (domestic) T20s, basically everything that comprises the overall growth of a cricketer," Nayar added.
KKR also announced that Omkar Salvi as the bowling coach of the KKR Academy, and their video analyst AR Srikkanth will also be a part of the two-week camp.