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Kolkata, Mar 22 :  Carlos Brathwaite's presence in the KKR line-up will boost the franchise's batting, which is the "best" among eight teams, claimed assistant coach Simon Katich.

The Barbados all-rounder in the most expensive buy for KKR at Rs 5 crore and will add firepower alongside big-hitters like Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell.

"The big fella here has got potentially one of the best strike rates in World T20. So in terms of our batting, it's the strongest in the competition," Katich made his ambitious claim during the unveiling of eight new recruits.

A career T20 average of shade under 17 in 143 games doesn't exactly inspire confidence but Katich probably wants to measure his ability to be destructive looking at his career strike-rate of 145.04.

"We are blessed with a lot of powerful players like Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, who is good during the Powerplay. There is Robin (Uthappa), Nitish (Rana), DK (Dinesh Karthik), there is Shubman (Gill)...

With a maximum of four foreigners allowed in the playing XI, it may be a selection headache for the team think tank after Brathwaite's inclusion but the Aussie said they would assess the conditions to pick the XI.

"It depends on the opposition and where we are playing. In certain games, there will be a possibility that they will play together potentially. But throughout, our batting line up has been our real strength." 

"Last year six of our batsmen (Karthik, Lynn, Narine, Uthappa, Russell and Nitish Rana) were inside the top-25 leading run-getters," he pointed out.

"So we have a very powerful batting line up. It's great to see the big fella get out there and start swatting sixes like flies at the back end of the innings." 

Eyeing to match the triple title feats of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home ground Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Apart from Brathwaite the other seven new Knights included that of the English duo Joe Denly and Harry Gurney along with Shrikant Mundhe, Nikhil Naik, Yarra Prithviraj and Sandeep Warrier, who has replaced the injured pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

England all-rounder Denly, who was bought for his base price of Rs one crore, is among the most underrated players going into the upcoming season of IPL. Denly said he's looking forward towards making a mark which will pave the way for his World Cup selection.

"For me, it was a long time sitting out of the England side -- 10 years almost. The last couple of years have been a lot more enjoyable. Thankfully, I am here in IPL playing for the best franchise in the best competition. Looking forward to help KKR bring back the trophy and hopefully England selectors will be watching this," Denly said.

"I want to play a supportive role leading into the World Cup. Hopefully I can get some game time here and contribute to the team's cause," Denly said. 

KKR have also brought back KC Cariappa, who had failed to impress after being picked for a record bid of Rs 2.40 crore by the same franchise in 2015.

"It's a great opportunity to come back to KKR. In 2015, they gave me a chance to play in the IPL and here again I am looking forward to make most of the opportunity," the 24-year-old Karnataka mystery spinner, who has replaced Shivam Mavi, said.                                                                    [Agencies]



Bengaluru, Mar 22 :  Karnataka Municipal Administration Minister C S Shivalli died of heart attack at a hospital in Hubballi Friday, hospital sources said.

Shivalli (56) complained of fever and vomiting following which he was admitted to the hospital, where he died at around 1.40 pm, they said.

The three-time MLA from Kundgol in Dharwad district, once as an independent and twice from the Congress, had a history of heart disease, the sources said.

Expressing grief, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said Shivalli was with him till Thursday night and later, he got news about his death.

At a party event in Hassan, he said "My cabinet colleague Shivalli was with me till 9 pm yesterday during my visit to the building collapse site in Dharwad." 

Shivalli, a Kuruba community leader, was considered among those close to former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah.

He was inducted into the Kumaraswamy-led coalition Cabinet in December last year when it was expanded.                                                              [Agencies]



Guwahati, Mar 22 :   A journalist of a news TV channel was attacked with knives and seriously injured in an attack in a restaurant Ganeshguri locality here, police said Friday.


Chakrapani Parashar, a journalist of satellite news channel News18/AssamNE, was stabbed by some workers of a restaurant adjacent to his office when he was on duty on Thursday night, police said.

Police have detained four accused in connection with the attack.

Parashar sustained serious injuries in various parts of his body and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he is stated to be out of danger, the police said.

Trouble began on Thursday afternoon when Parashar went with his unit to cover a fight between the main accused, who runs a restaurant in the same building as the news channel and some youths while playing Holi, News18 Assam/NE Deputy Manager (Operations) Aparup Barua said.

"Though the news was not telecast, the restaurant owner started an argument with Parashar for covering the incident. In the evening when about five to six of our journalists, including Parashar, went to the restaurant to settle the matter amicably, the accused took out a dagger and stabbed him repeatedly," Barua said.

The accused has a criminal record and was arrested earlier too, he said.

Various political parties - national and regional and journalists organisations have condemned the attack on Parashar.

The Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA) has expressed concern over the attack and demanded stringent actions against the culprits. It also urged the state government to ensure security to media persons by enacting a special protection law at the earliest.

In a statement here on Friday, EMFA claimed that increasing instances of physical assaults are being reported from various parts of the country and the Centre should take the matter seriously.

It also appealed to all media persons across the country to be united over the issue.          [Agencies]



Lucknow, Mar 22 : The BSP Friday announced its first list of 11 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding JD(S) turncoat Kunwar Danish Ali from Amroha.

Ali, who was general secretary of the Janata Dal-Secular, quit the party and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party only last week.

The BSP also declared Haji Fazulrahman its nominee from Saharanpur, Malook Nagar from Bijnore and Girish Chandra from Nagina, a party release said here.

Hazi Mohammad Yakoob has been fielded from Meerut, Satbeer Nagar from Gautam Buddh Nagar, Yogesh Verma from Bulandshahr, Ajit Baliyan from Aligarh, Manoj Kumar Soni from Agra, Rajveer Singh from Fatehpur Sikri and Ruchi Veera from Aonla.

Mayawati's BSP is contesting 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh under the seat-sharing arrangement with Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.                       [Agencies]