Kolkata Knight Riders have signed Australian fast bowler Matt Kelly to replace the injured Anrich Nortje for the remaining matches of IPL 2019.
KKR suffered an injury crisis in the start of the season with Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Anrich Nortje getting ruled out for the whole season with injuries.
While Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi were replaced by Sandeep Warrier and KC Cariappa, Anrich Nortje was not replaced as Kolkata tried Lockie Ferguson and Harry Gurney as their preferred overseas fast bowler.
Now, the Kolkata-based franchise has signed the Perth Scorchers quickster Matt Kelly to replace Nortje for the remainder of the Indian Premier League season.
Kelly has represented 16 first class matches and 5 List A games for Western Australia while also playing 12 T20s for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.
Simon Katich, the assistant coach of Kolkata Knight Riders is a fellow West Australian and seemed to have convinced the head coach Jacques Kallis to sign the 24-year old.
Kelly bowls at extreme pace and is known for his accurate yorkers which can come in use for the death overs.
Even, former Australian cricket team selector Mark Waugh has been impressed with Kelly and cited him as an option for the upcoming World Cup.
Waugh said “I’ve got one bolter from Western Australia, Matt Kelly, who no one’s spoken about. One thing we do lack slightly is a really good death bowler — a guy who can bowl yorkers at the end of the innings and he’s really good at that. He played for the Scorchers and WA. He’s a bit of a smoky but I’d have him the mix.”
Lockie Ferguson seemed to be the first choice overseas fast bowler for Kolkata this season before he was replaced by Harry Gurney for the Rajsthan Royals game. Gurney picked the ‘man of the match’ award against the Royals but disappointed against the Chennai Super Kings.
Matt Kelly could make his debut against Delhi Capitals on Friday or against table toppers Chennai on Sunday.