IPL 2022: KL Rahul named as Lucknow`s captain; Ahmedabad pick Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill

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New Delhi: KL Rahul has joined the Lucknow-based IPL team as their captain before the IPL 2022 mega auction. The right-handed batsman has been joined with Marcus Stoinis (9.2 crore) and Ravi Bishnoi (4 crore). Rahul will receive a sum of Rs 17 crore.

As per PBKS’ head coach Anil Kumble, the franchise wanted to retain him but Rahul decided to go into the auction. “Obviously we wanted to retain him, that is one of the reasons we chose him as captain two years back. But he decided to go into the auction. We respect that, we honour his decision. It’s the player’s prerogative,” he told Star Sports on the IPL 2022 retention day.

 The opening batsman led Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL 2020 and 2021. While he struggled on the captaincy front, Rahul had a dream run with the bat during his 4-year stint and scored 659 runs in IPL 2018, 593 runs in 2019, 670 runs in 2020 and 626 runs in 2021.

Stoinis, Lucknow’s 2nd pick, was part of Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2020 and 2021. The star all-rounder scored 441 runs and dismissed 15 batsmen in the past 2 seasons. He had joined DC for Rs 4.8 crore. Apart from Stoinis, DC also released their former skipper, Shreyas Iyer.

Bishnoi, who was part of Rahul-led PBKS, will continue to play under him. He came up with impressive performances during his 2-year stint at PBKS and scalped 24 wickets in 23 matches. Since he is uncapped, he will have a salary of Rs 4 crore.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya (15 crore)  has been named as the captain of team Ahmedabad. Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (Rs 15 crore), and former Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill (Rs 8 crore) are the two other draft picks in the Ahmedabad team.

The 28-year-old has 1476 runs and 42 wickets in 92 IPL matches for MI. He had joined the Rohit Sharma-led side for Rs 10 lakh. In 2018, he was retained for a mega amount of Rs 11 crore. His fitness issues and below-par performance in IPL 2021 saw MI releasing him. He will have a salary of Rs 15 crore.

Rashid, who was a vital part of SRH’s spin attack right from his IPL debut, has joined the Ahmedabad-based team for Rs 15 crore. He dismissed 17 batsmen in IPL 2017 and was retained by SRH by the use of the Right to Match card for a huge amount of Rs 9 crore next year. He scalped 93 wickets in 76 matches for SRH.

2011 World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten will be serving dual roles of mentor and batting coach of the Ahmedabad team. Kirsten, who previously served as batting coach and head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), said he is looking forward to work with Hardik. The former South Africa player player also said that Hardik is keen to start his leadership role and enhance his career.

“I am looking forward to working with Hardik as a young and new captain and I think he will be really motivated to come in and show what he is capable of at this level of the game as a leader,” Kirsten was quoted as saying by Star Sports.

“He is a great player and he is really motivated and is very keen to get in the mix and get involved. I think he understands the importance of this tournament. What I’ve heard is that he is ready to go and get properly in the mix from a leadership perspective,” he further added.

Gill, Ahmedabad’s 3rd pick, this will be his second IPL franchise, having joined Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 1.8 crores in 2018. The right-handed batsman performed consistently after his IPL debut. He played 58 matches for team scoring 1417 runs at 31.48 with 10 half-century scores. The IPL 2022 mega auction will be conducted on February 12 and February 13 in Bengaluru.

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