Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell said that he gets the “most goosebumps” while playing cricket when he is playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Russell would have been in the thick of the 2020 season of the IPL at this time had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic forcing the postponement of the T20 league.
“Let me confess something. IPL is where I get the most goosebumps when I am playing cricket. I get that in the CPL (Caribbean Premier League) as well, but when it comes to playing in the IPL, especially at Eden Gardens, there is no comparison to that crowd,” Russell said in an interview published on KKR’s official website www.kkr.in.
“When I walk out before facing a ball, I have goosebumps all over me because of the welcome that I get. That’s pure love, and yes it puts pressure on me. But it’s a good kind of pressure.
“When Kolkata needs 12 or 13 runs per over, with only 5 overs to go — I love those moments, and the crowd really allows me to do what I need to do. I get a feeling they are telling me: ‘Listen, we have got your back, so just go out and do your business.’
“If everyone was sad, and there was no noise, no entrance, that would maybe make me feel the pressure more. But I know even if I fail two games straight, when I come out to bat for the third game, it is the same deafening reaction I will get from the crowd. It’s always a welcoming thing.”
The 32-year-old Jamaican said that whenever his time with KKR ends, he would like to have an emotional farewell at the Eden Gardens.
“Just like players in big (football) leagues like English Premier League, or the Basketball guys (at NBA) retiring from the sport say ‘okay, this is my last game’ and they wave goodbye to the crowd — I imagine I would love to be at KKR until that moment in my career,” said Russell.
“I’d say, ï¿½Listen, Shah Rukh (KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan), all the KKR staff, everyone. This will be my last IPL and the last home game playing in Kolkata.’ It would be such an emotional moment.
“I sometimes watch videos and I see footballers crying and I’m wondering if I would actually cry, but that’s the special thing about playing at a club for so long and getting so attached,” he said.
Russell also said that he hopes that KKR can win a third title this season. “You know someday you’re going to go out. I’ve been at KKR for 6 seasons now and I enjoy every bit — getting the MVP award and all is good, but I want more. I really need that cup as well, and I am really hoping that we can have the IPL this year, so we can become the Champions,” he said.