Shatrunjay Gaekwad to join Kolkata Knight Riders

Baroda opener Shatrunjay Gaekwad, son of former Indian cricketer Anshuman Gaekwad, will soon sign up with Kolkata Knight Riders for the Indian Premier League’s second edition.

According to KKR sources, 10 cricketers from all over India have been shortlisted at the end of the three-day trial camp and four of the ten have already confirmed that would be joining KKR, Gaekwad being one of them.

The other three are Haryana allrounder Sachin Rana, Orissa’s explosive opening batsman Natraj Behara and Kerala’s ambidextrous bowler ME Sanuth. “KKR has also shorlisted a couple of other cricketers and offered them contracts, but the team management is still waiting for confirmation from the players,” a well-placed source told TOI on Wednesday.

Missing from the list is Mohd Azharuddin’s son, Mohd Asaduddin. “He is a youngster and looks like a promising prospect. We will have a fresh look at him when he is more mature and is able to handle big match situations. But Gaekwad’s son is very talented and has a mature head. He is 25 years old and has some experience of playing in the domestic cricket,” the official source added.

The junior Gaekwad has scored 783 runs in 18 First Class matches at an average of 28.25. He has a strike rate of 50.

KKR, incidentally, is looking at the bigger picture. “KKR wants to absorb those who are talented and have the grit to make it big in next three to four years. After all, they are planning to build an academy team as well for the future,” a team official confirmed.

Meanwhile, there are no takers for Shoaib Akhtar as of now. “Till we get a clear picture on the availability of the Pakistani players, none of the franchisees will be interested in Shoaib,” said the official.

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