I want to be on the podium: Andre Russell desperate to win IPL again with KKR

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 01, 2021, 06:17 PM(IST)

Andre Russell. Photograph:( PTI )

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is, for the second consecutive season, being played behind closed doors owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the last edition was played in the UAE, the ongoing edition is being held in India, but with empty stands and stadiums. Big-hitting Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell, said he misses the feeling of playing in front of the crowd as it brings out the fire inside.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is, for the second consecutive season, being played behind closed doors owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the last edition was played in the UAE, the ongoing edition is being held in India, but with empty stands and stadiums. Big-hitting Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell, said he misses the feeling of playing in front of the crowd as it brings out the fire inside.

“I miss playing in front of crowds and especially Eden, where I know thousands of people got your back. That keeps me going. And it brings out the fire inside. The loud cheer, even before I face the first ball when I start running onto the crease, those vibes are unreal,” Russell said in the KKR’s latest release called Russell: The Knight of Eden.

The West Indies all-rounder was slapped with a doping ban in 2017 and went on to miss the IPL and all formats of the game for a year. However, the setback didn’t affect Russell’s motivation as he said the ban made him stronger while adding that the KKR management wanted him to relax and focus on cricket.

“To be honest, that year was the toughest year. When you're doing well, sometimes people look for any reason to try and get it down. But that actually made me stronger. You know, Venky (Mysore) reached out to me, said they just want me to have a peaceful year to relax my head and to actually focus on cricket.

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“Being away from the game for a year, you know a lot of people doubted that I would come back and do the same thing. And I say you know what, this is the big moment. And good players shine in the big games. Three months before the ban lifted, I went on beast mode, getting stronger, losing weight. I came back in 2018 in a good season for KKR,” Russell recalled.

Russell lifted the IPL trophy with KKR in 2014 – which is also the franchise’s last title in the T20 tournament. The Caribbean brute said that he wants to experience the feeling of standing on a podium.

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“I have won the IPL in 2014, and the feeling that I got to see the guys with tears in their eyes, that's the type of feeling I want to experience again. I want to be on the podium. It should be pure purple and gold. We have a very strong team on paper. But the gameplay wasn’t,” Russell added.

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