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EXCLUSIVE: Manvinder Bisla On IPL Auction, Trade Window, Kolkata Knight Riders And Controversy In Cricket

Manvinder Bisla, former Kolkata Knight Riders and Indian domestic star wicketkeeper-batter, recently spoke with Outlook about the IPL trade window, his pre-IPL auction predictions, his future plans, and his reaction to the Gambhir-Sreesanth rift

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File image of Manvinder Bisla
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Indian Premier League (IPL) is the world's biggest cricket league and has always been a platform for young players to show their talent globally. Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) wicketkeeper-batter Manvinder Bisla talked about the IPL 2024 mini-auction, trade window, controversies and other aspects of cricket in an interview with Outlook. (Cricket News)

"I think Australia's Mitchell Starc will get the highest bid in tomorrow's IPL auction", replied Bisla when asked to predict his biggest pick on the eve of the IPL auction in New Delhi. Surprisingly, Mitchell Starc went for a whopping bid of Rs 24.75 Crore to Bisla's ex-team KKR and became the costliest player ever in the history of IPL.

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Bisla was the unsung warrior who helped KKR win their first IPL title in the 2012 final when he played a brilliant 89-run inning in just 48 balls. Bisla was also part of the team when Gautam Gambhir-led KKR clinched the IPL trophy for the second time in 2014.

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Manvinder Bisla playing a shot during his 89-run inning against CSK in the IPL 2012 final X/ @mgaurav1109

When asked about his response to Gautam Gambhir's return to KKR as a Mentor, he looked happy and commented that KKR has been the most successful under his captaincy and his inclusion will only help the franchise.

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"Bringing back Gautam in the mentorship role is a good step as the team has achieved the highest success under his leadership. We won the title twice when he was the captain. The way he managed the team at that time was commendable and I think it's a positive step from KKR", said Bisla in New Delhi.

He answered in the affirmative when asked if there is any possibility of his comeback to the KKR's management team if any good role is provided to him in the future.

"Obviously, KKR is a team that is very close to my heart. If they ask me to come back and take the role, I can't deny them. You are always in search of new opportunities and if there is any role given to me in my expertise by any team, I will surely take that.

Bisla expressed his optimism regarding the Indian players who could receive the highest bid in the auction. He had high hopes for pacer Kartik Tyagi and Sumit Kumar, Haryana's all-rounder who was named Player of the Tournament in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023. Sumit Kumar was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 1 Crore, while Kartik Tyagi was acquired by Gujarat Titans for only 60 Lakh.

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Kartik Tyagi will play for Gujarat Titans in the next IPL season X/ @StarSportsIndia

However, Bisla denied of chances that Rachin Ravindra could go for big bucks in the auction. "I don't think he would go for big money. He had a very good ODI World Cup in India, but T20 cricket is different. He definitely can be a very good pick, but I highly doubt that any franchise will spend immense money on him", said Bisla. Rachin was taken by Chennai Super Kings for 1.80 Crore.

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Manvinder Bisla, presently, is the new head coach of Bhojpuri Dabanggs, a cricket team in the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), where celebrities from various film industries of India come to compete in cricket matches. When asked if he is interested in shifting his career from cricket to film-line, Bisla's big smile converted into laughter.

"No no, I am happy as coach only. I was approached by the team management for coaching and I said yes because I liked the job. I have no other desires," said Bisla in an event organised by Bharatrizin, the new owner of CCL team Bhojpuri Dabanggs, which have some big regional stars in their team like Manoj Tiwari, Ravi Kishan, and Khesari Lal Yadav.

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The IPL trade window is open and some player trading can be seen in the coming days. However, Bisla denied the possibility of any major player trading. "When the teams are not satisfied with their current squad and they need a player from the other team who doesn't fit in that team's combination or vice versa, then trading happens. But I don't think any major exchange will happen through the trade window", he told Outlook.

Manvinder Bisla has played under Gautam Gambhir in IPL and recently both players featured in the Legends League Cricket (LLC) as well. A controversy between Gautam Gambhir and his former teammate S Sreesanth broke the internet when Sreesanth allegedly blamed Gambhir for calling him a "fixer" continuously on the field. The rift between the two players was the talk of the town.

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Gautam Gambhir batting for his team India Capitals in Legends League Cricket In 2023 X/ @CricCrazyJohns

When asked about his reaction to the incident, Bisla cited Harbhajan Singh's comments and said "bade bade sheheron mein chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain" (In big cities, small things happen). He hoped for both the experienced players to solve their conflict mutually and leave behind what happened on the ground. 

On his future plans, Bisla seems motivated to play in the next year's Legends League Cricket (LLC) as well. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw from this year's edition after being injured on his left hand just after the first match. 

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"I have been playing Legends League Cricket for the past two years and I am focused to continue that next year as well. I missed this year's edition due to this injury (pointing towards his covered hand) but I am very hopeful for next year," concluded Bisla.

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