Nitish Rana has been named Kolkata Knight Riders’ stand-in captain for IPL 2023. He will replace Shreyas Iyer, who will miss the start of the season with a back injury.
Rana, a flamboyant left-handed batter, has been with the franchise since 2018 and has scored upwards of 300 runs in each of the five seasons. The 29-year-old has captaincy experience having led Delhi teams in the Indian domestic circuit. In July 2021, he toured Sri Lanka and played two T20Is and an ODI representing India for the first time.
After their incumbent captain, Iyer, suffered a relapse of a back injury during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Test against Australia in Ahmedabad, the two-time IPL champions were left to elect a new captain. The Knight Riders also had options such as Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, as well as Tim Southee, the current New Zealand Test captain.
Nevertheless, the management remains hopeful that Iyer, whose services they purchased for INR 12.25 crore last year, will be featured at some point this year. “While we are hopeful that Shreyas will recover and participate at some stage in the IPL 2023 edition, we feel fortunate that Nitish, who has led his state team in white ball cricket as well as been an IPL player for KKR since 2018, will do a great job,” a release from the franchise stated.
“We are also confident that under Head Coach Chandrakant Pandit and the support staff, he will get all the support needed off the field, and the highly experienced leaders in the squad will provide all support that Nitish may need on the field. We wish him the best in his new role and Shreyas a full and speedy recovery.”
On April 1, KKR will take on the Punjab Kings in their quest for a third title.