India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik on Sunday was appointed as Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders’ new captain. KKR’s long-serving mainstay Robin Uthappa was made the vice-captain.

Karthik has his task cut out after the two-time champions decided not to retain the services of veteran Gautam Gambhir during the auctions, bringing an end to a highly successful reign. KKR will be the 32-year-old Karthik’s seventh IPL side and has played a total of 152 games. He was bought by the franchise for a steep Rs 7.4 crore.

Karthik said: “It is an honour to represent Kolkata Knight Riders, one of the most successful franchises in the IPL and I look forward to this new challenge. I am excited about the squad that has been assembled, which has a great combination of experience and youth. I will do my best to represent brand KKR and the millions of KKR fans.”

Announcing this appointment, CEO Venky Mysore said: “It is indeed a start of a new phase for KKR, and we are delighted that someone as experienced as Dinesh Karthik will lead the side.” The owner also announced the appointment of Uthappa as Karthik’s deputy. He said “Robin has been an integral part of KKR since 2014 and played a crucial role in KKR winning the championship. We are fortunate to have both Dinesh and Robin in leadership roles for KKR.”