Kolkata Knight Riders have retained 13 players from their squad of 21, for the 2019 edition of the VIVO Indian Premier League. The list of retained players, which was due to be submitted to the IPL Governing council by Thursday (November 15), include:

01. Dinesh Karthik (captain/wicketkeeper)

02. Robin Uthappa

03. Chris Lynn

04. Andre Russell

05. Sunil Narine

06. Shubman Gill

07. Piyush Chawla

08. Kuldeep Yadav

09. Prasidh Krishna

10. Shivam Mavi

11. Nitish Rana

12. Rinku Singh

13. Kamlesh Nagarkoti

"The retention was triggered by how our season went in 2018," said Venky Mysore, CEO and MD of Kolkata Knight Riders. "As we all know, we had a big auction before the last edition, where we assembled a new team. We had retained only Andre Russell and Sunil Narine (on that occasion), so it was practically a new squad, and we were quite excited by the way the season evolved. We have retained 13 players now, including Kamlesh Nagarkoti. He was injured and he unfortunately couldn't play for us. He is still recovering, but given the skills and ability he has - we picked him with that intention, and we have retained him again."

The eight players released from their contracts are:

01. Mitchell Starc

02. Mitchell Johnson

03. Tom Curran

04. Cameron Delport 

05. Ishank Jaggi

06. R Vinay Kumar

07. Apoorv Wankhade

08. Javon Searles

"Releasing players is always a difficult decision, because we are like one big family," Venky Mysore added. "The cricketers, whether they play or they don't, often contribute in many other ways to a side. However, this was an opportunity for us to fine-tune the squad, and look at the strategies going forward."

Speaking on Mitchell Starc, and the media reports that have been doing the rounds over the past couple of days, Venky Mysore said:

"It has been picked up out of context, because we (KKR and Starc) have had a great relationship. Even when we picked him last year, not only was he over the moon, but he was also appreciative towards the confidence we had shown in him. He was extremely disappointed he couldn't come here for last year's IPL, and to be frank, so were we. It left a big hole in our line up. This time, when we had an exchange of messages, he was appreciative of where we were coming from. It was very cordial, and professional type of an exchange.

"The auctions this year will depend heavily on the availability of the players, especially given that the World Cup is coming up. The Australian board (CA) has apparently said that among their players featuring in the IPL, those who will be appearing in the World Cup, will have to return (for national duty) no later than May 1. The English board (ECB) has apparently got a similar clause, so that will be an important consideration."

"We are glad the youngsters we showed faith in have grabbed the opportunity with both hands. We are in a fairly happy position, and we feel that we have most of our bases covered," added Venky Mysore.