IPL 2022: Shreyas Iyer can be potential superstar of cricket, says KKR head coach Brendon McCullum

AgenciesUpdated: Saturday, March 26, 2022, 06:06 PM IST
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KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer (left) and coach Brendon McCullum | Photo: Twitter

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum believes new captain Shreyas Iyer could potentially be a superstar leading the franchise from the front in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for easily a decade to come.

In the mega auction, KKR had bought Shreyas Iyer for Rs 12.25 crore. Earlier, the right-handed batter had led Delhi Capitals in the IPL.

"I have admired Shreyas from afar. I met him five years ago when he was playing for Delhi (Capitals) and I was playing for Gujarat (Lions). We exchanged numbers and I asked him why he never called me. He said, 'I was too intimidated' (laughs). So here he is captaining a franchise and is a big star in Indian cricket," said McCullum as per an official KKR release.

"He's already incredibly well-respected around the world for what his game is about and what he has been able to achieve. I think he has the potential to be a superstar of the game. He's got a really great demeanour about him and a nice, powerful and warming presence. We both share a common value of how we like to see the gameplay. Really, really excited to work with Shreyas. He could be a franchise player for KKR for the best part of a decade. It has to start somewhere and that's tomorrow," he added.

The boys in Purple and Gold take on Chennai Super Kings in the curtain-raiser on Saturday night. Super Kings, too, have a new captain in Ravindra Jadeja, Iyer's Indian teammate, and despite the two sides having met at last year's final in Dubai when the Riders finished as runners-up after a 27-run loss, revenge is not on McCullum's mind.

"I think we played a good final. Chennai were too good on the day. We had our opportunities but weren't quite able to get across the line but immensely proud of what we were able to achieve last year from where we were halfway through the tournament to where we got to," said the head coach.

"The style of cricket that we played, we were the hottest ticket in town through the final stages of that tournament. There were lessons, not just from a franchise point-of-view but also from a coaching point-of-view," he added.

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