Pro Kabaddi League 2017: Bengal Warriors seek inspiration from IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders

Bengal Warriors have not only have changed their coach and but have retained only two players — Jang Kun Lee and Ravinder Kumawat.

PTI July 25, 2017 22:11:46 IST
Pro Kabaddi League 2017: Bengal Warriors seek inspiration from IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata: Leaving behind four forgettable seasons, a revamped Bengal Warriors are seeking inspiration from city's cricket franchise Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the upcoming Pro-Kabaddi League.

KKR, the two-time Indian Premier League champions' amazing turnaround after four trophy-less seasons, is what Bengal Warriors are looking at.

The last edition's laggards have not only have changed their coach and but have retained only two players — Jang Kun Lee and Ravinder Kumawat.

Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Bengal Warriors seek inspiration from IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders

File image of Bengal Warriors. Image Courtesy: Twitter/@BengalWarriors

Bengal Warriors finished at the bottom of the table last season and CEO Sandip Tarkas told the team at their first meeting: "We cannot go worse from here. We can only go up."

"Kolkata Knight Riders have been an inspiring story and we are looking forward to do a KKR this time," he said during the unveiling of the squad.

The 18-member squad will be led by India defender Surjeet Singh and coached by 2002 Asian Games gold medalist K Jagadeesha, who represented Jaipur Pink Panthers in the inaugural season.

Korean raider Lee has been with Bengal Warriors since first season and is also the highest paid player in the team fetching Rs 80.3 lakh followed by Surjeet (Rs 73 lakh).

"The side looks balanced. We have had a fruitful six weeks' camp and the team has shaped up well," Tarkas said.

Bengal Warriors' best finish has been in season three when they made the play-offs.

Pro-Kabaddi League season five will be longer with four new teams — Haryana Steelers, Gujarat Fortunegiants, UP Yodha and Tamil Thalaivas — joining the existing eight franchises. There will be 138 matches spread over three months beginning on 28 July.

"We are prepared for the longer league. The first target is to qualify for the last-four round and then win the title from there," said captain Surjeet, who played for UMumba last season.

The Bengal leg will be from 1-7 September.

Meanwhile, Tarkas also said that talks with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar for buying stakes in the team is at an 'advanced stage'.

"It may happen that he may pull out of the deal. Until he signs the papers I cannot announce his name. We are waiting for his return from London and in two days' time the picture will be clear," the CEO said.

"Not just glamour quotient, Akshay Kumar represents the ethos of the sport. He is the fittest Bollywood actor at the moment and has the right values."

The league already has star quotient in Abhishek Bachchan (co-owner of Jaipur Pink Panthers) while Kamal Haasan will be the brand ambassador for Chennai franchise Tamil Thailvas co- owned by Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Updated Date:

also read

IPL 2022: Ahmedabad prefer Shubman over Kishan after having signed Hardik and Rashid, says report
First Cricket News

IPL 2022: Ahmedabad prefer Shubman over Kishan after having signed Hardik and Rashid, says report

The Ahmedabad IPL franchise on predictable lines have signed Hardik Pandya and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan but preferred young India opener Shubman Gill for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League.

IPL 2022 auction: Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, David Warner expected to be top draws
First Cricket News

IPL 2022 auction: Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, David Warner expected to be top draws

"Total of 1,214 players (896 Indian and 318 overseas players) have signed up to be part of the IPL 2022 Player Auction," the IPL said in a statement on Saturday.

IPL 2022: Ahmedabad pick Hardik, Rashid and Shubman; Lucknow choose KL Rahul, Stoinis, Bishnoi
First Cricket News

IPL 2022: Ahmedabad pick Hardik, Rashid and Shubman; Lucknow choose KL Rahul, Stoinis, Bishnoi

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was released by Mumbai Indians (MI), has been named the skipper of the Ahmedabad franchise while Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan and young India batter Shubman Gill are their other two choices.