England skipper Morgan to lead KKR

Last Updated: 16/10/20 11:56am

Eoin Morgan has been named Kolkata Knight Riders captain after Dinesh Karthik stood down from the role.

Morgan, who was signed at auction for £563,000 in December last year, has scored 175 runs at an average of 35 and a strike-rate of just under 130 in the 2020 campaign, where he has been acting as Karthik’s deputy.

But Karthik’s decision to stand aside so he can focus on his batting has paved the way for Morgan to take charge.

The 34-year-old has been widely credited with transforming England’s white-ball fortunes since 2015, culminating in their World Cup win last year.

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Venky Mysore, chief executive officer and managing director of the Knight Riders, said on their website: “We are fortunate to have leaders such as DK, who has always put the team first.

“It takes a lot of courage for someone like him to take a decision such as this. While we were surprised by his decision, we are respectful of his wishes.

“We are also fortunate that Eoin Morgan, the 2019 World Cup-winning captain, who has been the vice captain, is willing to lead the side going forward.

Dinesh Karthik has decided to step down as Knight Riders skipper

Dinesh Karthik has decided to step down as Knight Riders skipper

Dinesh Karthik has decided to step down as Knight Riders skipper

“DK and Eoin have worked brilliantly together during this tournament and, although Eoin takes over as captain, this is effectively a role swap and we expect that this transition will work in a seamless manner.”

Karthik stepping down is somewhat surprising given the Knight Riders lie fourth in the this year’s IPL standings, following four wins and three defeats, although the Indian batsman is averaging just 15.42 after seven matches.

Morgan becomes only the second England international to captain an IPL franchise, after Kevin Pietersen skippered Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 and then Delhi Daredevils in 2014.