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KKR’s Chandrakant Pandit slammed for ‘militant type’ control: ‘Don’t need anyone telling us how to behave, what to wear’

Chandrakant Pandit, the head coach of KKR, was slammed by the side’s former overseas player David Wiese, who was part of the roster in the 2023 season

Kolkata Knight Riders endured a tough 2023 season in the Indian Premier League. The side kickstarted their campaign under makeshift captain Nitish Rana after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out with a back injury; while there were a number of key performances – with the standout player being Rinku Singh – KKR couldn’t qualify for the playoffs, finishing seventh on the table.

Kolkata Knight Riders coach Chandrakant Pandit during a training session(PTI)

Among the many acquisitions in the side ahead of the 2023 season was David Wiese, the all-rounder who was one of Namibia’s key players in the preceding T20 World Cup. Wiese played in three matches for the side but has now opened up in great detail about the dressing room atmosphere in the camp under Chandrakant Pandit, who also replaced Brendon McCullum to kickstart a new head coach stint with the franchise.

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Speaking on the Hitman for Hire: A year in the life of a franchise cricketer podcast, Wiese said there were “issues” in the dressing room throughout the campaign. Pandit is known as a hard taskmaster in the domestic circuit but certainly has the credentials; he joined KKR shortly after a successful Ranji campaign with Madhya Pradesh, coaching the side to its maiden domestic title.

“There were certain issues going on behind the scenes in the team. Guys weren’t happy with certain things that were going on, and a lot of the times, it was a tough changing room. There was a new coach coming in and he liked to do things a certain way, and that didn’t sit well with the players,” Wiese said.

Wiese revealed that Pandit is a “militant” type of coach who would assert authority over team members regardless of their nationality, dictating not only their behaviour but also on “what to wear and what to do.”

“Guys were frustrated because a lot changed, and the coach brought in things that he thought would bring success. But as an overseas player, they sometimes don’t sit well. He’s known in India as a fairly militant type of coach, a strict disciplinarian. The overseas guys who’ve played all over the world don’t need someone coming in and telling him how to behave and what to wear and what to do. I was chill with it, but there were players more stubborn than me,” said Wiese.

Pandit was retained as head coach after the season but was joined by former KKR captain and the side’s two-time IPL winner, Gautam Gambhir, ahead of the 2024 edition. Gambhir returned to KKR as the side’s mentor.

Winning start

The Knight Riders made a positive start to their campaign last week, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 4 runs in a closely-fought match in Kolkata. The side will now travel to Bengaluru for its second match of the season against the Royal Challengers, who also returned to winning ways on Monday with a dramatic victory over Punjab Kings.


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