The new Lucknow franchise in the IPL has signed on KL Rahul for a fee of INR 17 crores, making the batter the joint-highest paid player in the league’s history. A similar sum was commanded by former India captain Virat Kohli when the Royal Challengers Bangalore retained him ahead of the IPL 2018 auction.
KL Rahul Will Captain The Lucknow IPL Franchise Which Include Marcus Stoinis And Ravi Bishnoi
KL Rahul, it was confirmed, will captain a side that’ll include Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis (signed for INR 9.2 crores) and uncapped legspinner Ravi Bishnoi (signed for INR 4 crores). The Lucknow team will head to the IPL 2022 auction with a purse of INR 59.89 crores.
The 29-year-old has been one of the most consistent batters in the IPL since 2018. The opener led Punjab Kings in the last two seasons but he wanted a change and was subsequently released by the management. Thus far, KL Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL and has amassed 3273 runs at an average of over 41.
In the 2021 IPL, KL Rahul smashed 626 runs in 13 matches and was the third-highest run-getter in IPL 2021, but unfortunately, failed to inspire the side to a title. KL Rahul has been the best opener in IPL since 2018 and scored 659, 593, 670, and 626 runs in the past four seasons, respectively.
“KL Rahul is not only an outstanding batsman but also a great wicketkeeper,” Sanjiv Goenka, head of the RPSG Group that owns the franchise said.
“Marcus is a great finisher, a good bowler, and a phenomenal fielder. Ravi brings a unique dimension to the spin department and is an exceptional fielder. We want players to be here for 3-4-5-6-7-8 years.”
Team mentor Gautam Gambhir added: “He’s a work in progress, he keeps, he opens the batting. He consistently has been a phenomenal run-scorer. And what’s better than someone who gives you three things?”
Marcus Stoinis is a huge pick by the Lucknow team as he has been an integral part of the Delhi Capitals side over the past few seasons when the team qualified for their maiden IPL final (2020) and also made it to the knock-outs in the rest of the two seasons (2019 and 2021). Not just that, Marcus Stoinis was a key member of the Australian team that won the ICC T20I World Cup last year and has been in great form in the ongoing Big Bash League too.
Impressive young spinner Ravi Bishnoi has been named as the third pick by Lucknow and the decision clearly has KL Rahul’s stamp all over it as Ravi Bishnoi had played and done well under KL Rahul’s captaincy.
Ahmedabad Franchise Signed Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, And Shubman Gill
Meanwhile, as was reported already, the Ahmedabad franchise has signed Hardik Pandya (INR 15 crores), Rashid Khan (INR 15 crores), and Shubman Gill (INR 8 crores) and will have a purse of INR 52 crores to spend at the auction table. Hardik Pandya will captain the team.
The two new teams were allowed to sign three players each before the mega auction, currently scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13.