The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 kicked off on a great note, with Kolkata Knight Riders beating the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings on Saturday. With the tournament just begun, all the teams will be focused on giving their best on the field.
The Indian Premier League franchises have some great names in the coaching ranks to mentor the teams. The likes of Ricky Ponting, Tom Moody, Stephen Fleming, and others have all done well as coaches in the league.
Some of them even have the experience of playing in the league, which could help the teams.
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In this article, we look at the Best XI of the support staff members of the Indian Premier League this year, who have previously played in the league. Note, that the list does not follow the four overseas players criteria.
#Openers – Brendon McCullum and Sachin Tendulkar
The Head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Brendon McCullum will open the innings alongside the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin has been a team icon for the Mumbai Indians over the past few years.
Bredon McCullum is fondly remembered for his brilliant century in the opening game of the Indian Premier League in the inaugural edition. He slammed 158* runs against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders. ‘Bazz’ has scored 2880 runs in the IPL, including two centuries.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar has 2334 runs to his name in the league. The former cricketer, won the orange cap for Mumbai Indians in 2010 IPL. He slammed 618 runs in 15 matches that season.
#Middle Order – Michael Hussey, Gautam Gambhir, Kumar Sangakkara
Michael Hussey is only one of the two players to have scored a century on their IPL debut. He slammed 116 runs, off just 54 balls in the match against Punjab Kings for the Chennai Super Kings. In IPL 2013, Hussey won the Orange Cap, when he scored 733 runs in the season. He is the batting coach of the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2022.
Gautam Gambhir will partner Hussey in the middle order. He is the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants for IPL 2022. Gambhir has a great record in the league, having led the Kolkata Knight Riders to win the championship twice. He has scored 4,218 runs in the IPL, for Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Capitals.
Meanwhile, Kumar Sangakkara is the head coach of the Rajasthan Royals. He has played for various teams in the IPL, like Punjab Kings, Deccan Chargers, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Sangakarra slammed 1687 runs, including ten fifties in the IPL.
#All-rounders – Shane Watson and Abhishek Nayar
Assistant coaches of Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, Shane Watson and Abhishek Nayar will be the two all-rounders in the side. Watson has a great record in the Indian Premier League. He was one of the top performers for Rajasthan Royals in the league. Watson has 3,874 runs and 92 wickets to his name in the Indian Premier League.
On the other hand, Abhishek Nayar played for the Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Pune Warriors, and the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He was one of the most consistent all-rounders in domestic cricket, which earned him a place in the IPL. Abhishek Nayar has scored 672 runs and has taken 9 wickets in the league.
#Bowlers – Anil Kumble, Muthiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan
Anil, Kumble, Muthiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, and Zaheer Khan have all been legendary cricketers. Anil Kumble is the Head coach of the Punjab Kings in IPL 2022. He played in 42 IPL matches, taking 45 wickets, including a five-wicket haul. Kumble led the Royal Challengers Bangalore to the finals in 2008.
His contemporary, Muthiah Muralitharan is the spin bowling coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has picked 63 wickets in his IPL career of 66 matches. The next bowler in the side will be Lasith Malinga. He is the joint leading wicket-taker in the history of the tournament with 170 wickets.
Malinga also won the purple cap in 2011 IPL. His former team-mate, Zaheer Khan will join him in the pace bowling unit. Zaheer has a large experience of playing in the tournament. He took 102 wickets in 100 matches, at an economy rate of 7.59. Zaheer is the Director of Cricket Operations at the Mumbai Indians.
Support Staff XI of IPL 2022: Sachin Tendulkar, Brendon McCullum, Michael Hussey, Gautam Gambhir, Kumar Sangakkara, Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar, Anil Kumble, Muthiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan.