Fresh from a training stint under Usain Bolt's sports therapist, Kolkata Knight Riders allrounder Andre Russell hopes to be as fit as his fellow Jamaican sprint legend. One of the most sought-after players in T20 leagues, a fit-again Russell joined the new-look Kolkata Knight Riders side on Thursday and announced that Everald 'Eddie' Edwards will be his personal physio.
"He is a good guy, Eddie. He used to be Usain Bolt's physio. We all know Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world, I am the second (laughs) so yeah like to be anywhere close to his fitness, you need guys like Edward around you. He is my personal physio," the Jamaican said in a post in KKR's official Facebook page.
Everald 'Eddie' Edwards has worked side-by-side with the iconic Jamaican sprinter Bolt as his exclusive sports therapist since 2007, and has also worked with a large number of international sporting stars such as Britain's Mo Farah and cricketer Chris Gayle.
The 29-year-old, who has been retained by KKR, missed last season's IPL owing to a one-year ban from cricket after violating a whereabouts clause.
After pulling a hamstring in the Pakistan Super League earlier this month, Russell said he's ready for the battle in KKR colours.
"Nothing comes easy. You have to work hard for it. Once you put in hard work, you get results. I always believe in working hard. Hard working never stops," he said.
"I am happy to be back. I am bit jetlagged. It's been good so far. It's better to be early than getting late. I'm ready for IPL 2018."
Russell played his first competitive cricket after a year earlier this year in the West Indies domestic fifty overs tournament.
In his first T20 tournament after the ban was lifted, the Islamabad United star pulled his hamstring earlier this month.
"It's been tough to be honest. You want to do things but you can't. You restrict yourself from doing it to be a better player, to be a better athlete and person.
"You have to stop doing a lot of things like a lot of partying, drinking -- all those bad habits. I'm working on it. I am not saying I am perfect, but I am working on it. It's been treating me well. I am looking fit."
On the new-look KKR squad, he said, "It looks fantastic. We have a lot of young talent as well. We should do really well. Once everyone steps up the plate, it will be good enough. we all have a job to do. Our best will be good enough."
On his new captain Dinesh Karthik, he said: "I'm excited to work with him. I have played against him. To be in the same dressing room, and move to his instructions, it's going to be interesting. It's always good to know each other. I'm excited."
Russell also had a message for the team's star owner Shah Rukh Khan. "When are we going to party? I know he's a busy guy but he makes sure to take time out and come. I hope to see you soon," he signed off.