Kolkata Knight Riders (Bengali: কলকাতা নাইট রাইডার্স, often abbreviated as KKR) is a cricket franchise representing Kolkata in the Indian Premier League and owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta from the Mehta Group. The team is currently captained by Gautam Gambhir and coached by Trevor Bayliss, a former Australian cricketer. The bowling legend, Wasim Akram is the team's bowling consultant and mentor. Sourav Ganguly, who was the team's Icon Player for the first three seasons, captained the side in the first and third seasons of the tournament while Brendon McCullum led the team in the intervening period. The team won its first title in 2012 by defeating defending champions Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets at their home ground in Chennai.
The official theme of the team is Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re (We will do, We will Fight, We will Win) and the official colors are purple and gold. The brand value of the Kolkata Knight Riders was estimated at $57.5 million in 2011, ranking third amongst all ten teams. Although the team has gained immense popularity due to its association with celebrity owners, it was surrounded with controversy and poor on-field performance through the first three years of the tournament. The team's performance, however, improved from the fourth season as it qualified for the IPL playoffs and made it to the Champions League Twenty20. They eventually became the IPL champions for the first time in 2012.
The leading run-scorer of the side is Gautam Gambhir, while the leading wicket-taker is Lakshmipathy Balaji. The home of the Kolkata Knight Riders is Eden Gardens, the largest cricket stadium in India. It is also one of the largest stadiums in Asia, together with Salt Lake Stadium which is also in Kolkata and May Day Stadium in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
In 2008, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) created the cricket tournament Indian Premier League based on the Twenty20 form of the game. Eight teams would participate in the inaugural tournament held in April – June of the same year. The teams representing the eight different cities of India were put up on auction in Mumbai on 20 February. The team representing Kolkata was eventually bought by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta for a price of $75.09 million ( 357 crores). Sourav Ganguly, the former captain of the Indian national team, a native of West Bengal and nicknamed The Bengal Tiger,Dada,The Prince of Kolkata was named as the Icon Player for the team. He was also appointed as captain of the team.
The Kolkata Knight Riders made a good start to the season by winning their first two matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers. Kolkata Knight Riders' opening batsman Brendon McCullum scored 158 runs in the first match. However, the team began to experience failures and lost the next four matches. The team managed to stage a comeback of sorts by winning the next three matches, helped by strong performances by Sourav Ganguly and Shoaib Akhtar. But their performance dipped again and they lost the next three matches. These included their match against Mumbai Indians, in which they were bowled out for 67 runs, the lowest score by a team in the IPL 2008 season. When their match against Delhi Daredevils was washed out due to rain, they lost any chance of making it to the semi finals. The Knight Riders ended their season on a winning note by defeating Kings XI Punjab on their home ground.