Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL campaign next year will have a new think-tank after the management announced changes to the franchise’s coaching set-up. The two-time IPL champions parted ways with head coach Jacques Kallis and assistant coach Simon Katich on Sunday, the former ending a nine-year relationship – as player and then coach – with the franchise.
Kallis was appointed Knight Riders’ head coach in October 2015, taking over from Trevor Bayliss, the current England coach. Since his appointment, Knight Riders made three consecutive playoff appearances but failed to make the cut in 2019. Under Kallis and Katich, Knight Riders won 32 of their 61 games – a win-percentage of just over 50. In IPL 2019, the side finished fifth, losing out on playoff qualification based on net run-rate, after a six-match losing streak midway through the season.
Katich was appointed around the same time as Kallis, and the former Australia batsman also coached the team’s Caribbean Premier League franchise, Trinbago Knight Riders, helping them win back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. The tenure with Trinbago also comes to an end for Katich, who will now coach the Manchester Originals team in the inaugural season of The Hundred.
Kallis, however, could remain a part of the Knight Riders brand, according to team CEO Venky Mysore.
“Jacques Kallis has been an integral part of the KKR family and will always remain so,” Mysore said, while announcing the changes. “We will be exploring ways of working with Jacques as we pursue our vision of establishing the Knight Riders brand as a global brand.”
Kallis, too, released a statement following the decision.
“After nine fantastic years with KKR since 2011, as a player, mentor and Head Coach, it’s time to explore new opportunities,” he said. “I would to like to thank the owners, management and fellow players for many happy memories.”
Knight Riders are yet to announce replacements for the two coaches.