Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are a franchise cricket team representing the city of Kolkata in the Indian Premier League. The franchise is owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and her spouse Jay Mehta. The Knight Riders play at the Eden Gardens stadium.
The franchise, which has gained immense popularity due to its association with celebrity owners, qualified for the IPL playoffs for the first time in 2011. They became the IPL champions in 2012, by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the final. They repeated the feat in 2014, defeating Kings XI Punjab. The Knight Riders hold the record for the longest winning streak by any Indian team in T20s.
The side’s all-time leading run-scorer is Gautam Gambhir, while their leading wicket-taker is Sunil Narine. The official theme of the team is Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re (we will perform, fight, and win!) and the official colours are purple and gold.
In 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) created the cricket tournament Indian Premier League, based on the Twenty20 format of the game. Eight teams participated in the inaugural tournament held in April – June 2008. The teams representing the eight different cities of India were put up on auction in Mumbai on 20 February 2008. The team representing Kolkata was eventually bought by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta for a price of $75.09 million, equal to approximately ₹2.98 billion at that time. Sourav Ganguly, former captain of the Indian national team, a native of West Bengal and the current President of BCCI, was named the Icon player for the team. The name of the team is a reference to the popular 1980s American television series Knight Rider.
In June 2015, the team’s ownership group bought a stake in the Caribbean Premier League’s Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, and renamed it the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2016. In December 2020, the team also made an investment in the upcoming American T20 league Major League Cricket.
In 2021, the Knight Riders Group CEO, Venky Mysore, announced their entry into the South African T20 league with Cape Town Knight Riders and signalled intentions to invest in ECB’s new competition format, The Hundred.
The home venue of the Knight Riders is Eden Gardens (with the two ends of the crease called the High Court End and the Club House End). Owned by the Cricket Association of Bengal, it was the largest cricket stadium in India and had a seating capacity of over 90,000. In 2011, the stadium was renovated to meet the standards set by the International Cricket Council for the 2011 Cricket World Cup; reducing its capacity to around 68,000. The renovated stadium includes a new clubhouse and players’ facilities, upgrading the exterior wall, cladding the existing roof structure with a new metal skin, and general infrastructure improvements. In 2013, two of the team’s home matches were hosted by the JSCA International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi.