Sanjiv Goenka Confirmed KL Rahul Will Captain Lucknow; To Build Foundation Lasting Next 8 Years

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of the Lucknow franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has said that KL Rahul will emerge as a phenomenal leader and he has everything required to succeed at the big stage.

Lucknow has opted to go with KL Rahul (Rs 17 crore), Marcus Stoinis (Rs 9.2 crore), and Ravi Bishnoi (Rs 4 crore) for IPL 2022. The Lucknow team will head to the IPL 2022 auction with a purse of INR 59.89 crores.

KL Rahul, Ravi Bishnoi, Marcus Stoinis
KL Rahul, Ravi Bishnoi, Marcus Stoinis. (Photo: Twitter)

Sanjiv Goenka Impressed By KL Rahul’s Leadership Skills And Confirmed He Would Captain The Lucknow Franchise

KL Rahul will don the captaincy hat. Andy Flower has already been named the coach of the Lucknow franchise while former India batter Gautam Gambhir will serve as the mentor of the franchise.

“Yes, KL will be the captain. I have been very impressed by KL’s not only batting and wicketkeeping abilities but his leadership skills. He is evolving, he is growing, he is maturing as a player, as a leader and he is somebody I would’ve wanted to lead the team,” said Sanjiv Goenka on Star Sports’ show ‘IPL Selection Day’.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

“And I do believe, given the right atmosphere, given the right environment, he will emerge as a phenomenal leader, and he has everything it takes to succeed,” he added.

KL Rahul was signed by Lucknow for INR 17 cr fee, making him the joint-record holder for the most-paid player in the IPL, tied with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player, Virat Kohli. Speaking about KL Rahul’s signing, Sanjiv Goenka mentioned the 29-year-old was always his choice. 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.

Sanjiv Goenka: Unlike Pune, Lucknow Is Building Foundation For A Team Lasting 8 Years Or So

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 for Punjab Kings.

Talking about the three draft picks for IPL 2022, Sanjiv Goenka said: “There were multiple things. We were looking at not only building a team for one or two seasons, as we did in the case of Pune but actually, building the foundation for a team, which will compete successfully for many years. We were also looking for players with more than one facet, so not singular-dimension players. So, KL is not only an outstanding batsman, he’s a great wicketkeeper.”

Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)
Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)

“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. So, we looked for players, who could do more than just one thing; players who would be with the franchise for several years – three, four, five, six, seven, eight years. And KL is in the batting department, Marcus is an all-rounder and Ravi is a bowler, so we have tried to cover all the three departments,” Sanjiv Goenka added.

IPL’s two new teams — Sanjiv Goenka RPSG Group for the Lucknow franchise and CVC Capital’s Ahmedabad team had received formal clearance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The formal clearance was given after a meeting of the IPL Governing Council.

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel had also confirmed that the IPL auction would be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13.  Meanwhile, the other new franchise, Ahmedabad 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.

“Yes, the auction will be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13,” said Patel.

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.

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