The Jamaican all-rounder returned to competitive cricket earlier in February this year after serving his term for which Andre Russell was banned. On returning to the fore, Russell revealed that when he was serving his anti-doping ban, he was assured by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who had indicated that they were interested in re-signing their marquee player for IPL 2018 season. Speaking to Firstpost
, Andre Russell said,
“After I got banned last year, maybe a week after, KKR reached out and we negotiated that I would be signed this year on return. It was basically them doing their part to help ease my mind during the ban, saying that you are out of cricket, but don’t worry about it, we have got your back.”
Andre Russell added that apart from the Kolkata based Indian Premier League franchise, who bagged the West Indies cricketer for INR 8.5 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, the all-rounder was also promised for a spot by the Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League
, which helped the cricketer to stay focused in times of difficulty. He said,
“Dhaka Dynamites (Bangladesh Premier League franchise) and a few other teams reached out and gave confirmation I would be signed this year; so this all kept me focused.”
Russell has emerged in recent years as one of the most sought-after players on the international Twenty20 circuit. However, the 29-year-old was banned in January last year after being found guilty of failing to notify anti-doping authorities of his whereabouts on three occasions in 2015 – a breach that is the equivalent of a failed drugs test under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.
Andre Russell is currently making his return to the third season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2018) for the franchise Islamabad United
. He will also enter the Indian mainland once the Indian Premier League kicks off on 7th April, which will see Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings
battle it out in the opening fixture.