Renowned adventurer and explorer, Mike Horn has been roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders for a short stint ahead of the upcoming seventh season of the Indian Premier League. (Also read: Mumbai Indians play Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL opener)
Mike, who has earlier worked with the Indian cricket team and the South African side, will now be sharing his life experiences with the players of KKR in United Arab Emirates.
"Our objective right now with Mike Horn is that he helps out with the integration of the team, since we have a fairly new team this time. He can help in the team building exercises, team bonding and of course the motivational side of it. Though he is coming for a very short burst, partly because of his availability. So we will have him for four-five days leading up to the first game," said Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR.
"The bigger motivation of getting Mike Horn this season was that he has done a lot of work with athletes in general and sports teams, not just cricket. He is very familiar with this zone. And I also got very good endorsement on him from some of the players. It was very encouraging to look at someone like him for our team. I am quite excited with what he can do for KKR," added Mysore.
The KKR team gathered in UAE yesterday, instead of assembling in India.
"I think there are two reasons for us to assemble in UAE. Firstly, with the new team coming in it is almost like ring-fencing them and keeping them in a place where they don't have any major distractions. And they are together and they are having meals together and more," Mysore said.
"It helps when the whole team is in one place. Secondly, it is a good way to get acclimatised to the conditions of the field. Each player gets to practice in that environment in their own field of expertise. This I feel works very well for the players," he explained.
Pakistan bowling great Wasim Akram is back as a mentor for KKR this season.
"From a cricketing perspective, we are very fortunate that we have a very stable support staff. I am looking forward to the fact that Wasim Akram is back. Last year he had taken a break for personal reasons. So he is back as the mentor and the bowling coach."
"We also have WV Raman, who is more of a batting coach. He knows the mindset of the Indian players. So between Wasim and Raman we have two of these specialists which we didn't have last year," said Mysore.