KOLKATA – Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has criticised Kings XI Punjab’s million-dollar acquisition of West Indies speedster Sheldon Cottrell, labelling the move as a “desperation” buy.
Cottrell found himself at the centre of a bidding war between Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI before Kings XI finally secured his services for US$1.2 million.
Speaking following Thursday’s auction here, Gambhir said he did not believe Cottrell possessed “enough quality” to justify the lucrative price tag.
“There were no better options, Pat Cummins and Chris Morris both were sold out. They tried hard to get Morris but it didn’t work,” said Gambhir, who twice led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL titles.
“I still don’t think Sheldon Cottrell has enough quality to become a [US$1.2 million] bowler. He’s still to build on accuracy and speed yet that he can bowl at 145 [kph] speed. He can look at putting cutters but that might not help at Mohali.
“I think Anil Kumble (Kings XI director of operations) picked him up in desperation since they couldn’t get Chris Morris or Pat Cummins. If the demand is high and supply is low, these things happen.”
Cottrell has had an outstanding year for West Indies, taking 30 wickets from 23 One-Day Internationals and 14 from 12 T20 Internationals.
He also led the attack during a wretched ICC World Cup campaign by the Caribbean side to finish with 12 wickets and was also instrumental in the Caribbean Premier League with 12 wickets at an economy rate of just under eight runs per over for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
At Kings XI, Cottrell joins West Indies teammates Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran who were both retained following the last IPL season, and Barbados-born England fast-bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan. (CMC)