Hailed as one of the most explosive players in the shortest format of the game – Andre Russell needs no introduction as far as the T20 cricket is concerned. His exploits in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League remain fresh in the memories of many cricket fans. One of Russell’s best knock in the tournament came against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the league stages of the tournament, where he remained unbeaten on 49 off just 19 deliveries to almost single-handedly steer his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a memorable victory.
Sunrisers had the match in their grasp as KKR were reeling at 129/4 in 17 overs. With 52 runs needed to win in 18 balls, the target seemed a far-fetched one for the men in black and gold. But the burly Jamaican had some other plans as he combined with Shubman Gill to script one of the most astonishing run chases in IPL history.
Russell and Gill smashed Siddarth Kaul for 19 runs, and then hammered SRH’s best bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 21 runs, reducing KKR’s target to just 13 runs in the final over. A couple of big maximums from Gill helped KKR finish off the match in style, with two balls still remaining.
In a recent interview, KKR CEO Venky Mysore recalled how Russell became emotional after his innings because of how the crowd was reacting to his shots.
“I think it’s safe to say that it’ll be very different. In the IPL, the players will experience no crowds for the first time,” Mysore told Sportskeeda in a Facebook live interview when he was asked about IPL 2020 being played amid closed doors.
“Last year, we were playing a game against Sunrisers and it was an impossible situation. One of the best death bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar was bowling and he (Andre Russell) went in,” Mysore recalled.
“It was Andre Russell’s day and he took him apart. There was one shot he played to a slowish ball outside off-stump. He could barely reach it but he hit it for six. I asked him after the game what that shot was,” he added.
“He said, Man, I don’t know. When I’m playing like that, the crowd gets me going. After I hit that shot, the way the crowd reacted, I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes. This is the impact the crowd has on the players,” the KKR CEO further said.
The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) like most of the few sports competitions that have been held around the world amid the pandemic, could take place with no fans in the stadium.
The IPL 2020 will begin from September 19 and will be played in the UAE subject to government allowance.