Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Sunil Narine has joined the ranks of the most elite players by becoming the second overseas player to receive a ₹100 crore salary in the season just ahead of another rendition of the Indian Premier Lague.
The Knight Riders long-serving sergeant will play for Kolkata for the 11th year in next year's edition of the IPL. Previously, Narine received ₹95.2 crores from the franchise and currently, he is priced at the base price of 6 crores by the team.
A long-time player, Narine has been in the league for at least 10 years and has been the match-winner for the franchise be it in terms of bat or bowl. Narine has a record of over 950 runs and 143 wickets.
The 33-year-old is currently the second most expensive overseas player in the history of the IPL. The only other overseas player who has entered the 100 crore club is AB de Villiers who made the record before Narine. Additionally, the other players who have bagged ₹100 crores or above are MS Dhoni’, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Rohit Sharma.
Dhoni holds the record for the most expensive salary at ₹152.8 crores, followed by Sharma at ₹146.6 crores, Kohli at ₹143.2 crores, Raina at ₹110.7 crores, and De Villiers at ₹102.5 crores.
Loyal to Kolkata Knight Riders
Previously in November, Narine said he wanted to stay with the Knight Riders for the foreseeable future.
“There’s no other place I’d like to be than KKR because I have played all my cricket here and I would love to continue representing the franchise," Narine said. "It’s a home away from home, my second home. So, I hope it can continue.”
The West Indies international is arguably one of the most successful Kalkota players. Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum even has expressed admiration to the West Indian allrounder.
“We all know that he is a genius," said McCullum. "We call him ‘The King’ because of his impact on T20 cricket has been significant. He developed the carrom ball and all these other deliveries. A lot of people have put a lot of eyes and attention on his craft because he is such a genius.”
Narine in turn thanked the team for supporting him from 2014 through 2021, especially when he had had to make changes to his bowling action a while ago.
“Going through that process was very difficult,” Narine told the official KKR website. “It’s something that could play with your mind. The little adjustments were very difficult because you can tweak something and it will work but when you have to tweak about three or four different things in one action, it’s difficult.
“Going into the test you are not sure if you are going to be playing cricket for a while or being able to play again. It makes you nervous! It was tough! But at the end of the day, cricket was never easy for me. I had to work for everything I have. So, it was just like another stepping stone where I had to dig deep, work hard and come out on top."
It is expected that many more players will enter the ₹100 crore club this year when the mega auction hits the league. Currently racing to enter the club are Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Kieron Pollard, Ravichandran Ashwin and David Warner.