McCullum 'happy' to quit if KKR don't reach semis

Knight Riders captain Brendon McCullum says he would be "happy to step aside" if the side fails to make the semifinals of the ongoing IPL.

updated: April 29, 2009 06:49 IST
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With Kolkata Knight Riders' frustration mounting after every defeat, the struggling team's captain Brendon McCullum says he would be "happy to step aside" if the side fails to make the semifinals of the ongoing Indian Premier League here.

"If we don't make the semifinals then I am more than happy to step aside. To me it's about accountability as a captain," McCullum said after KKR succumbed to their fourth defeat in the five matches they have played so far.

"I know I am going to be judged by results, my team is going to be judged by results and if I am not able to inspire my team to at least give ourselves a chance atleast in the back-end of the tournament, I am more than happy to step aside come next season," he explained.

McCullum said the crushing loss to Mumbai Indians last night has left the team frustrated.

"It's frustrating. That's the word we have been using for the last week and a half. We were blown off the park at the top of the order by Sachin (Tendulkar) and Sanath Jayasuriya," he said.

Asked whether captaincy was taking a toll on his form with the bat, McCullum said, "I don't think captaincy has burdened me as such. I just don't think I have played as well as what I should. I am desperately keen to put out a winning contribution from myself to be able to help my team.

"It is always tough when you are trying to preach team messages when your own individual game is at times struggling," McCulliam said.

The wicket-keeper batsman said he was confident of making amends in the coming games.

"It's tough at the moment and it's a lonely place when things aren't going well. But I am desperately keen and very keen to turn things around. If I do so, you will see the team responding," he said.

Asked about the team's decision to send back Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar midway through the team, McCullum said KKR was already a huge squad and some pruning was required.

"We are carrying a heavy squad anyway. The nature of the tournament is that you are only allowed 11 players on the field, to have 12 people on the sidelines didn't make a great deal of sense.

"It's disappointing for Sanjay and Aakash because they are great team blokes as well. But it's just the nature of our work that we had to off-load some players to make sure that we can keep our squad as small and as mobile as possible. It is disappointing for them but it is unfortunate the way things have happened," he added.

McCullum admitted that offloading Chopra and Bangar has put pressure on the other members of the side as well.

"I think in every team if you are not performing, you are susceptible to not making the starting line up, not making the squad," he said.