The fiery Relooking Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder, Andre Russell lived the worst phase of his career when he was slapped a 12-month ban by an anti-doping panel in Kingston. In a video uploaded by the KKR franchise on its official YouTube channel, Andre Russell relived the experience and termed it as a massive blow when he was peaking in his career. He went onto reveal people’s skeptical behavior towards him due to his athletic and sturdy physique.
Back in the day, Russell was searching for a place in the KKR team. IPL’s 2016 edition fetched him 188 runs at a whopping strike rate of 164.91 in 8 matches, while with the ball he claimed 15 wickets at 19.40.
Recalling the time in the video, Andre Russell said, “2017 was one of the worst years of my career. You know, getting banned [while] being on the top of my game, hitting the ball cleaner than ever. Because with me hitting the ball over 100 meters, bowling 140 plus from a short run, people start to question if I am using drugs or whatever. And I used to know everything to do in terms of a drug test. I knew how to release and move the label, no one had to show me anything.”
Russell went onto share his experiences from the trial and court proceedings. He recalled, “And they hit me, hit me hard. It was crazy. And it’s such a wicked world we live in. Because when someone takes the Bible and say “I swear….”, I say ok, there’s no way this woman or man will lie because I respect the Bible. [She] looked dead in my eye and said that she sat down with me and discussed the rules and regulations about JADCO (Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission). And I gave an outburst in court. I said, ‘Me? I have never seen you in my life’. I had never seen that woman.”
View this post on Instagram
After the ban, Russell slumped to an all-time low in life and he admitted how he was unable to even watch cricket anymore. He explained, “[I wanted to] just to get away from my city… because when I drove through, people looked at me like ‘Oh he’s taking drugs’. Because a lot of people don’t get things. I wasn’t feeling pain anywhere but I couldn’t play the game… like every time it kicked in… I wasn’t even watching cricket.”
But the fiery all-rounder got back onto his feet again, amassing as many as 316 at a strike rate of 184.80 in IPL 2018 before he set alight the tournament in 2019, scoring 510 at a staggering average and strike rate of 56.67 and 204.82 respectively to include his names in the list of world’s finest all-rounders.