Mumbai: Former Indian pacer Laxmipathy Balaji, who earned his charm after his phenomenal performance in the 2004 India- Pakistan series, replaced Pakistani celebrity cricketer Wasim Akram by deputizing his role in the office.
The franchise cricket team in the Indian Premier League,’ Kolkata Knight Riders’ announced the appointment of former India pacer Laxmipathy Balaji as its bowling coach, for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Akram, who had filled the position as KKR’s bowling coach since 2010, says ‘professional commitments and time constraints’ have prevented him from being with the team this year.
Balaji was an essential constituent of KKR’s bowling line-up from 2011 to 2013, along with his indispensable contribution to the team’s victorious campaign in 2012, has accoladed him such an honorary welcome.
“Its great to welcome Bala back to the KKR family. He was an integral part of KKR from 2011-13 and played a key role in helping KKR win the championship in 2012,” Venky Mysore, CEO & MD of KKR said.
Also, On 7:40 PM, Tuesday, KKR Tweeted- “We are glad to announce our bowling coach. Welcome back to the KKR family, L Balaji! #KKR”
In response, Balaji , who is undertaking his first season as a full-time bowling coach with his former state side, Tamil Nadu; said:
“I had thoroughly enjoyed my stint as a player for KKR and I am delighted to be back to the franchise that I have admired.”
Akram was appointed has helped the KKR to two titles in 2012 and 2014.With Akram being so good and progressive with the time, it would be a challenge for Balaji to help the team regain their lost champions title.
Meanwhile, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir took to Twitter to welcome his former Indian teammate to the franchise, saying, “Welcome back to the KKR Family, Laxmipathy Balaji! See you in the nets soon. #KKR.”
The 10th edition of the IPL is set to begin on April 5 with the final scheduled for May 21.