In 2014, Kolkata Knight Riders bought the services of Chris Lynn for INR 130 lakhs for IPL. Little did the KKR management know then how important he would become to the franchise in the coming years. Or maybe they did.
This is because KKR has been one of the first Indian Premier League franchises to implement the Moneyball policy quite successfully in the cash-rich league. The Kolkata franchise did not retain the services of Lynn but bought him at the auction instead, for a whopping INR 9.6 crore.
How was he injured?
While playing in the final of a T20 tri-series final against New Zealand, Lynn suffered a shoulder injury after diving to stop a single. The player appeared to be in immense pain and returned to the pavilion. It was later revealed that Lynn suffered a dislocated shoulder and after positioning the shoulder back in place, Lynn came back to the field with his shoulder in a sling.
Further scans and tests conducted revealed that Chris Lynn would miss the entire Pakistan Super League season and may also miss the Indian Premier League.
Importance of Lynn
The importance of Chris Lynn to the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise is highlighted in the manner in which they bought him at the IPL 2018 auction. Lynn had a base price of INR 2 crore. KKR fought bidding wars with Delhi Daredevils and then Royal Challengers Bangalore to buy Lynn. This shows how important Lynn had been in the plans of the KKR management.
Coming to the quality of the player, Chris Lynn is one of the most dangerous and powerful hitters of the cricket ball in the shortest format of the game. To state that he is a match winner is stating the obvious.
After appearing in only four games in the first two seasons for KKR, Lynn played seven games for the franchise in IPL 2017 inspite of being injured for some games. He had a strike rate of 180 in those games and averaged 49.16 while opening the innings.
He found an unlikely hard-hitting opening partner in Sunil Narine and both of them averaged 37.25 opening the innings for the Knight Riders. The injury to Lynn thus results in the loss of an opener who can give a flying start and much needed momentum to the KKR innings.
Chris Lynn is an extremely good fielder as well. One of the most iconic images of the Indian Premier League is associated with Chris Lynn. He took a blinder of a catch to dismiss AB de Villiers on his debut game for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2014. The catch proved to be the turning point of the game as de Villiers was running away with the game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
KKR bought Lynn for INR 9 crores. The hefty sum they paid for Lynn meant they could not buy back Manish Pandey who was bought for INR 11 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Lynn was one of the choices to be the KKR captain since he had captained the Brisbane Heat in the Australian Big Bash League before he injured himself.
Curse or Boon?
If one were to consider all the aspects, Chris Lynn is one of the most integral members of the Knight Riders squad. The team will surely miss him in the playing eleven if he misses the tournament.
However, KKR does have a number of exciting prospects like Cameron Delport, Rinku Singh and Apoorv Wankhade who will need to step up a gear so that the team does not miss him on the ground.
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