Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach Wasim Akram to skip IPL 2017

Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach and mentor Wasim Akram will miss the next IPL edition, the franchise announced through a press release early on Saturday.

The former Pakistan captain has cited professional commitments and time constraints for his inability to be part of Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming season.

“I have loved the camaraderie in KKR team and have enjoyed every opportunity to mentor the highly talented team over the years. I am surely going to miss being part of the dressing room but I wish the team continued success,” Aram was quoted as saying in the press release.

The announcement comes almost two months after Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir had publicly endorsed cutting off all ties with Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terrorist attack.

“I would not even think of playing cricket with Pakistan. Indian lives are more important than sports,” Gambhir had told media persons in New Delhi.

When HT asked Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore whether Akram’s decision was influenced because of skipper Gambhir’s statement, he said “Absolutely not.”

Mysore however through KKR’s press release said the team will miss an important member of the coaching staff.

“We will miss Waist Bahia who has been part of the KKR family over the last few years and has played a significant role in our title triumphs in 2012 and 2014. We wish him the very best in all his endeavors,” the statement quoted him as saying.

This isn’t the first time Akram has missed an IPL edition. He had skipped the 2013 edition to spend more time with family. Then defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders ultimately finished seventh that year.

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