Kolkata Knight Riders have kept the playoffs hopes alive after beating Mumbai Indians by 52 runs in Match 56 of the Indian Premier League 2022. It was a do-or-die game for the two-time champion, and their bowlers helped them script a remarkable comeback to keep the campaign alive.

But the road to playoffs is still quite bumpy, as they have to win the remaining matches with a significant margin. It has been an inconsistent season for Kolkata and they have to find a suitable squad composition. On Monday, they made five changes in the playing XI, bringing in the opening duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer, fast bowler Pat Cummins, spinner Varun Chakravarthy, and the wicket-keeper Sheldon Jackson.

When asked about the team selection, Iyer quipped: “CEO is also involved in team selection.” It was a shocking revelation from the KKR skipper which raises important questions about the autonomy of the players and support staff. It is naturally assumed that cricketing matters are left to the whims of cricketers and coaches, and the management hierarchy looks into the commercial side of the game. 

Shreyas Iyer KKR CEO

Interfering owners always spell doom for the sports team. Ideally, the head coach and captain should be given full freedom to chop and change the squads, as they are better equipped for this job. There’s a reason most of the franchises hire talent scouts and data analysts ahead of the mega auction.

Over the last couple of seasons, Kolkata Knight Riders have made a series of baffling decisions. After Iyer’s comments, many fans are now speculating if it was the overriding presence of CEO Venky Mysore that compelled the franchise to do so.

“It’s really difficult. I was also in that position once when I started playing IPL. We discuss with the coaches, CEO is also involved in team selection. Baz (head coach Brendon McCullum) goes to the players and tells them if they are not playing,” said Shreyas Iyer.

“All of them are very supportive of the decision-making. The way they turn up to the ground, each and every individual in the playing eleven, it’s something to be proud of as a captain.”

Another drastic consequence of this outside presence is related to betting. Gurunath Meiyappan, the former CEO of Chennai Super Kings who was arrested for his involvement in the betting, used to attend team meetings and pass on the important information to the bookies.