Knight Riders replace Russell

Indian Premier League

New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has been added to the Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad for this year’s Indian Premier League.

De Grandhomme will effectively replace West Indian Andre Russell, who is serving a one-year ban for a drugs violation.

“Either we can see Russell’s absence as a challenge or look at it as an opportunity in bold letters. I as an individual, and KKR as a group, are looking it as an opportunity,” captain Gautam Gambhir told PTI.

Team-mate Yusuf Pathan added: “We are not on the back foot,” the allrounder Yusuf Pathan said. “Russell was an important cog in our wheel not only on-field, but in the dressing room also. He is a great character to have. There are situations when players miss out. He will be missed in the dressing room. But we have to look ahead and work with what we have.”

The 30-year-old, Zimbabwean-born de Grandhomme has played eight Twenty20 Internationals for the Black Caps, with a highest scored of 41 not out and best bowling figures of two for 22.