On Friday, December 23, eight players were acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the IPL 2023 auction in Kochi. The two-time champions had a purse of INR 7.05 crore when they entered the mini-auction. They, therefore, had little money to spend, and could not actively participate in the bidding wars that other franchises were having.
Their most expensive purchase was the seasoned Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, whom they signed for INR 1.5 crore. Additionally, they spent INR 1 crore on David Wiese and INR 90 lakh on the N Jagadeesan, who recently broke the world record for the highest ever individual score in List A cricket by hammering 277(141).
Other players whom KKR purchased were Suyash Sharma ($20 lakh), Mandeep Singh ($50 lakh), Kulwant Khejroliya ($20 lakh), Vaibhav Arora ($60 lakh), and Litton Das ($50 lakh). Three spots remained unfilled in the KKR squad when the auction came to an end, with INR 1.65 crore remaining in the purse. They had already acquired all-rounder Shardul Thakur from Delhi Capitals, New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson, and Afghan wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Gujarat Titans in the trade window.
Shardul Thakur, who represented Delhi Capitals in the previous edition of the tournament, will now be a part of the Kolkata-based franchise. This will be his third team in three years, having represented Chennai Super Kings in the 2021. Though his form was not well last season, he can be a match-winner if he finds his mojo.
But like former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra said, KKR were in the auctions only for Window Shopping this year. They just filled in the gaps wherever they found any in their team. Though they do not have a 25-member squad, each of the 21 players have the ability to win the game for the team. It will be interesting to watch how the two-time champions plan things out as they aim to clinch their third title.