Tuesday, April 28, 2009

McCullum to step down if KKR keep losing

With Kolkata Knight Riders' frustration mounting after every defeat, the struggling team's captain Brendon McCullum says he would be "happy to step aside" if the side fails to make the semi-finals of the ongoing Indian Premier League here.

"If we don't make the semi-finals then I am more than happy to step aside. To me it's about accountability as a captain," McCullum said after KKR succumbed to their fourth defeat in the five matches they have played so far.

"I know I am going to be judged by results, my team is going to be judged by results and if I am not able to inspire my team to at least give ourselves a chance atleast in the back-end of the tournament, I am more than happy to step aside come next season," he explained.McCullum said the crushing loss to Mumbai Indians last night has left the team frustrated.

"It's frustrating. That's the word we have been using for the last week and a half. We were blown off the park at the top of the order by Sachin (Tendulkar) and Sanath Jayasuriya," he said.

Asked whether captaincy was taking a toll on his form with the bat, McCullum said, "I don't think captaincy has burdened me as such. I just don't think I have played as well as what I should. I am desperately keen to put out a winning contribution from myself to be able to help my team.

Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim agreed, "They (the KKR thinktank) have messed up right from the beginning with the multiple captaincy idea.

I don't see any multiple captain here."

Taking a dig at the huge support staff which boasts of John Buchanan, director cricket operations, Karim said: "I don't see any need of that.

Why do you need a wicketkeeping coach for an experienced campaigner like (Brendon) McCullum? Or is he (the wicketkeeping coach) for standby wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha who is injured?"

Besides the two-time World Cup winning coach for Australia, KKR support staff include chief coach Mathew Mott, assistant coach Brad Murphy, wicket-keeping coach Wade Seccombe, bowling coach Andy Bichel, assistant coach for strength training Michael Buchanan (John's son), team director Joydeep Mukherjee, trainer Adrian Le Roux, physiotherapist Andrew Leipus, fielding coach Jon Deeble.

"It's quite disappointing for a side which had a good preparation for IPL2. There was talent hunt programme all over India," Karim said.

Bengal selection committee Chairman Sambaran Banerjee also said: "I want Ganguly to return as captain. He takes pressure off the team and is the lone person to lift the side from this difficult position."

Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Bangalore Royal Challengers in their next match on Wednesday.

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