Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday announced to sign former India bowling coach Bharat Arun as the team’s bowling coach ahead of the upcoming 15th edition of the cash-rich league.
Prior to this, Bharat Arun was the bowling coach of the Indian national team since 2014 and played a crucial role in helping Team India reach new heights. The 59-year-old had represented India in Tests and ODIs and was a very successful domestic player for Tamil Nadu.
Making the announcement of his appointment, CEO & MD of KKR Venky Mysore said: “We are very excited to have someone of the calibre of Bharat Arun joining us as our bowling coach. He will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to KKR’s strong support staff. We are delighted to welcome him to the Knight Riders family.”
On the otherhand, KKR’s Head Coach Brendon McCullum said: “A warm welcome to B Arun to the KKR coaching staff. With a strong and successful pedigree in the international game, I’m sure Arun will complement the current staff we have and I look forward to working with him.”
“His experience at international level and the ability to give confidence and clarity to our bowling group will be important, as we attempt to quickly align a new group of players to the values and style of play for KKR,” he added.
Meanwhile, an elated Arun said. “I’m very excited and looking forward to becoming part of a highly successful franchise, such as the Knight Riders. I have admired the Knight Riders franchise for not only being very successful in the IPL & around the world in T20 leagues but also for the way it is very professionally run”.
Notably, after retiring from international cricket in 1987, Arun had started his coaching career with the Tamil Nadu domestic team and became the chief bowling coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. He then took over as head coach of the India Under-19 squad nad had helped it winning the U19 World Cup in 2012, in Australia.
Arun was appointed as bowling coach for team India on 16 July 2017.
Recently after the addition of two new frnachises- Lucknow and Ahmedabad — in the IPL, media reports had suggested that Arun was initially linked to the Ahmedabad franchise and there were speculations that he would join it along with his former Indian team colleagues Ravi Shastri and R Sridhar.
However, the talks did not materialise.
Significantly, Arun’s time with the two-time IPL champions will not be the first time in the IPL as he had spent three seasons (2015 to 2017) with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as their bowling coach before being appointed as the bowling coach of Team India.