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IPL 2021

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise And Rashid Khan May Be Included But The Duo Can Be Banned For 1 Year

KL Rahul has been in ominous form with the bat, especially in the T20 format. Now, with KL Rahul parting ways with Punjab Kings, as per a report, new franchise Lucknow is set to lap him up. Reports claim Lucknow has offered him Rs 20 Cr. If that happens, he would become the most expensive player in the history of the league.

Even otherwise, KL Rahul at Rs 17 Cr (2018-2021) is still the most expensive player. If Lucknow ropes him in, then he could very well be made the captain of the side. Thus far, KL Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL and has amassed 3273 runs at an average of over 41.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise Which Reportedly Has Offered INR 20 Crores Making Him The Most Expensive Player In IPL History

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.

The Lucknow franchise has zeroed in on KL Rahul to be their next captain, and negotiations are learnt to be on with the opening batsman. If it goes ahead, the development will leave seven franchises – including SRH, if they want an Indian to replace Kane Williamson as captain and the new Ahmedabad franchise – looking for a new skipper. The BCCI will come out with its new media-rights tender after the mega-auction gets over.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Some reports also suggest that the new franchise is in talks with Rashid Khan. Lucknow is interested in getting the services of the Afghan star. Rashid Khan is apparently not happy with Hyderabad’s offer. He wants to be the first-choice at the Retention, but the franchise reckons Kane Williamson is the one for that.

The existing eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have reached the deadline to submit their respective lists for player retention. The BCCI will make the names of retained players public on Tuesday afternoon and pave the way for the two new teams to start signing players ahead of the mega-auction.

The retention rules are as follows: A franchise can retain a maximum of a) three Indians and one overseas player; b) two Indians and two overseas players.

It has been learnt that RPSG owned Lucknow based new IPL franchise is willing to offer INR 20 Crores salary to KL Rahul to leave PBKS while Rashid Khan will be getting INR 16 Crores for his services in the coming season.

Chennai Super Kings Have Retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali, While Mumbai Indians Have Retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard

Bearing these set of rules in mind, IPL 2021 defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are holding back captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard. However, it is learnt that MI have, until the last moment, been deliberating over all-rounder Hardik Pandya who played as a specialist batter in the last 2 IPLs but whether the Baroda cricketer will be fit to bowl or not starting next season remains the key.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Here are the details from the remaining franchises:

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje. The franchise has decided to let go of former skipper Shreyas Iyer and their leading batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell. Late until Monday evening, there was no confirmation if Shubhman Gill would remain part of the Knight Riders’ plans.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell. The franchise wanted to retain Yuzuvendra Chahal, but it is learnt that both sides couldn’t reach an understanding.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The beleaguered franchise may just retain New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan is learnt to be negotiating with one of the new franchises.

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal and two uncapped players Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, are what Punjab is looking to retain.

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Jos Butler and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

This list of retention is based on sources in the IPL, but final confirmation of the same can only be expected on Tuesday. Once the BCCI ratifies these retentions, the two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will be asked to identify players – a maximum of three Indians and one overseas player or two Indians and two overseas players – by mid-December and the remaining players will go into the mega-auction being planned either towards the end of December or January first week.

Last mega auction

This will be the last mega-auction that the IPL intends to hold and most stakeholders in the league, including the majority of franchises, are in line with the proposal.

“We genuinely hope this is the last mega-auction because the trend has clearly gone past its sell-by date. This, in turn, will also put pressure on franchisees to pick well at this mega-auction because they’ll be building their future teams around these set of players,” said sources privy to developments.

Amidst all the retention process going on with the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could hand-over one year ban to Indian star batsman KL Rahul and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan for breaching the IPL code of conduct.

A verbal complaint has been raised by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Lucknow based new IPL franchise for ‘pursuing & poaching’ Rashid Khan and KL Rahul to leave their respective franchise in the coming season.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes Chokes On A Tablet While Being Alone In A Hotel Room Ahead Of Ashes 2021/22

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder, feared it “might be the end” after he almost choked on a tablet while alone in his hotel room ahead of the Ashes. The all-rounder, writing in a column, said the tablet had gone down the wrong way and got stuck in his windpipe.

Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand. His name wasn’t included in the Ashes 2021/22 initial squad, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes. File photo: Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
England all-rounder Ben Stokes. File photo: Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

Ben Stokes Choked On A Tablet While Being Alone In Hotel

The 30-year-old Ben Stokes is a proven match-winner, and his unbeaten 135 in a record run chase at Headingley carried England to a stunning one-wicket victory and ensured the 2019 Ashes were squared.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that a tablet that was taken wrongly caused him to “choke horribly” and fear for his life ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia from December 8. Ben Stokes is making a comeback to international cricket after taking a long break to address his mental well-being and rest his left index finger, which was fractured.

“Until it actually came out, I thought this might be the end,” he added. “I was on my own in my room and I couldn’t breathe as it became lodged and started to dissolve. It felt like my mouth was on fire. Without going into too much detail I have never seen as much saliva as I did on Sunday morning, it was a genuinely frightening experience.”

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Ben Stokes took an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his mental health while also recovering from a second operation on a broken finger, and was a late addition to England’s squad for the tour of Australia.

Ben Stokes Hopes That His Pre Test Dramas Are Over

The 30-year-old all-rounder said the finger injury was coming along really well and that he was in a good place mentally. However, he was given another scare when he took a ball to his forearm during practice that left him in excruciating pain.

“I couldn’t lift it … I thought it was broken,” Stokes added. “Thankfully the pain and reaction settled down once I was back in the dressing room and the physios could be sure it wasn’t actually a break. It was only after I got back to the hotel room that I took stock of what a day I’d had.

“The adrenaline had worn off and I was exhausted. Happy that I’m here to tell the tale, but hoping that my pre-Test dramas are now over.”

The five-Test series is due to begin in Brisbane on December 8. Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 after a 2-2 draw in England. However, an injured Ben Stokes missed the New Zealand and India Test series in England, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental wellbeing over cricket.

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in India leg of IPL 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Ben Stokes last played for England in the ODI series against Pakistan in July 2021, when he returned to captain the team at short notice after Eoin Morgan and the rest of the initial squad were forced into isolation by a number of Covid-19 positives cases in England camp. His last Test came against India in March 2021.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Glenn Maxwell Won’t Be Assigned A Role Of RCB Skipper In IPL 2022 Because He Is A Free-Flowing Cricketer: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan feels that RCB might not find a captain from among the three players they retain for the 15th season and would rather have to look for a skipper from the IPL auction pool.

One of the biggest challenges for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the impending Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 2022 edition will be finding a new skipper as regular skipper Virat Kohli stepped down from his role at the end of IPL 2021.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)

Irfan Pathan: Glenn Maxwell Would Be Retained, But He Won’t Be Assigned Skipper Because He Is A Free-Flowing Cricketer

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that Royal Challengers Bangalore might not find a captain from among the three players they will retain for the 15th season.

Talking about RCB’s possible retention for IPL 2022 during Lunch on day 4 of the ongoing first Test between India and New Zealand, Irfan Pathan felt that the franchise should retain Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who was their top scorer last season, but added that he shouldn’t be given the responsibility to captain the side.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I think someone from the auction. Because whatever the 4 players are in my head, Virat is obviously not going to captain he has announced that, Glenn Maxwell is there, but you do not want to give him the captaincy because he his kind of a free-flowing cricketer and you do not want to give him that kind of responsibility. You want him to play freely,” he explained.

With AB de Villiers retiring from all formats of the game, many expect RCB to retain Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, who was one of their top performers last season. He scored 513 runs, his second-highest run-tally in an IPL season after 2012, at 42.75 and at a strike rate of 144.10 with six half-centuries.

Glenn Maxwell had a poor IPL outing in 2020 (for KXIP at UAE), managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42, but managed to earn big bucks when RCB signed him for a whopping INR 14.25 crore.

Irfan Pathan Leaves Out IPL 2021 Purple Cap Winner Harshal

Irfan Pathan also felt that RCB should retain Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Mohammed Siraj.

“The third is Chahal, who is a bowler. The fourth one is a topic of discussion but I will go with Siraj. So you might to find leadership in that but you might find it in the auction. They need to work hard on that part,” he added.

RCB's Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)
RCB’s Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)

The 4 picks imply that former pacer Irfan Pathan has left out Harshal Patel, who picked 32 wickets last season to grab the Purple Cap, but Irfan Pathan explained that Mohammed Siraj is a “more complete package” and is a “more long-term option”.

“A lot of people will be thinking about Harshal Patel, he was the Purple Cap winner, but when you look at the complete package in Mohammed Siraj who can bowl with the new ball and deliver outstanding yorkers, he has got pace as well. So you might be looking at a more long-term option. I certainly think it’s Siraj,” he explained. 

Irfan Pathan was also full of praise for leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and opined that RCB shouldn’t let go of a bowler like him.

“In Chinnaswamy, you need a spinner who bowls with a big heart. And Chahal has got a big heart. He takes wicket and knows the pitch in and out. Not many spinners come to Chinnaswamy and takes that kind of wicket what Chahal has given. You do not want to lose a bowler like him.”

He picked up as many as 32 wickets in 15 games, making him the highest Indian wicket-taker in a single season and joint-most with Dwayne Bravo. Mohammed Siraj who has picked 50 scalps in as many IPL matches, picked up 11 scalps in 15 appearances averaging 32.09 in IPL 2021, but RCB lost the Eliminator to runners-up KKR despite the two pacers’ excellent performances.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked only four wickets in seven games in the India leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League, at an economy rate of 8.26, which saw him fall out of contention for the race to the T20 World Cup squad, to Rahul Chahar, who snared 11 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.21.

However, the RCB leg spinner made an impressive comeback in the second leg, picking 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.06.

Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
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Shreyas Iyer Had Fun Chat With MS Dhoni And Played Football With Hindi Filmstars Which Helped Him To Recover

Shreyas Iyer revealed MS Dhoni played a major role in helping him recover from injury and return to his best. He also disclosed playing football with friends from the film industry helped him in his comeback.

In March this year, Shreyas Iyer’s world was thrown upside down as he suffered a devastating shoulder injury during the first ODI between India and England in Pune. Shreyas Iyer was forced to undergo surgery which meant he had to be out of action for almost six months.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images

Shreyas Iyer Missed IPL 2021’s First Indian Leg But Returned In UAE Leg And Was Part Of The Reserves In 2021 T20I WC Squad

In the meantime, he was forced to miss the first leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) and eventually lost his Delhi Capitals (DC) captaincy to Rishabh Pant. As a result, from being a leading contender to being part of India’s 2021 T20 World Cup squad, Shreyas Iyer could only make the reserves as the injury starved him of valuable game-time before the selection for the marquee event.

Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder while fielding against England in the first ODI in Pune on March 24. He had to leave the field right away and later underwent surgery that kept him away from the first session of the 14th edition of IPL before the tournament was suspended midway due to the breakout of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Shreyas Iyer has shown his character by making his Test debut in the same year and beginning his international career in the longest format of the game by scoring a century. On Friday, Shreyas Iyer became just the 16th Indian ever to score a century on Test debut.

Shreyas Iyer Credited Mentor For T20I WC MS Dhoni For Helping Him By Having ‘Fun Chats’ With Him

Shreyas Iyer credited former Indian captain MS Dhoni for helping him through the recovery period. During rehab, the former DC skipper revealed he had some ‘fun chats’ with the 2011 World Cup-winning captain.

Talking in a press conference, Iyer said, “Mahi Bhai was there and we spoke a little bit about IPL at that point of time, never discussed winning the IPL (chuckles). You know he is really calm and composed, whenever you for a chat, he’s got so much so experience in the IPL and different forms of the game, so it’s always fun to chat with him.”

The 26-year-old also revealed that playing football with friends from the Indian film industry (Bollywood) helped him maintain his competitive spirit and maintain his fitness levels.

“It didn’t switch me off completely because my focus was more on cricket rather than playing football. But I really love going out there and trying different sports – whether it be table tennis or badminton, but football is something I’ve been playing since my school days. And when I went and played with my Bollywood friends over there, they were very competitive and they were friendly at the same time,” said Iyer. 

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

He added, “So it was a good mixture, and also I wanted to get into that competitive zone and see it to that my fitness level was pretty intact. Because you keep running 90 minutes and it’s about how your stamina pans out throughout the game.”

After a long hiatus, Shreyas Iyer made his comeback during the second leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE (scoring 175 runs in 8 games averaging 35). After missing out on India’s main 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup (he was named in the reserves), Shreyas Iyer returned to play for India in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand he played all three games.

With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli resting and KL Rahul suffering from an injury, Shreyas Iyer got a chance to make his debut in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. He took the opportunity with both hands by scoring a brilliant knock of 105 under pressure.

Shreyas Iyer, on his debut, scored a century for India against the defending World Test Champions New Zealand, batting at No.5. He scored 105 before being dismissed by Tim Southee. His runs came off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries. Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw.

Shreyas Iyer has featured in 22 ODIs and 32 T20Is and averaged 42.78 and 27.61 in the two formats, respectively, before making his Test debut, 4 years after his limited-overs debut in 2017.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni Not Keen To Be Chennai Super Kings’ 1st Retention In IPL 2022

MS Dhoni is reportedly not keen to be the first pick of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2022. MS Dhoni wants the franchise to prioritize other players who deserve to earn more than him as he is nearing the fag end of his illustrious career, having already retired from international cricket.

The final phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction had fans wondering whether they had seen MS Dhoni’s last. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper left the question unanswered as IPL’s season 14 concluded, but reports suggest that the franchise has retained him ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. However, the order of his retention isn’t confirmed yet.

Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL title 4 times under MS Dhoni's captaincy (File photo: PTI)
Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL title 4 times under MS Dhoni’s captaincy (File photo: PTI)

MS Dhoni Expressed Skepticism Over Retention By CSK In IPL 2022

MS Dhoni is no longer the player he used to be. Having retired from international cricket in 2020, the wicket-keeper batsman is only playing IPL when it comes to professional cricket. With the IPL 2022 season set to witness a mega auction, MS Dhoni himself had expressed skepticism over his retention, considering the franchise will only be able to keep hold of a maximum of 4 players.

As per a report, Chennai’s top priority remains MS Dhoni despite the fact that his prowess with the bat is nowhere near what it used to be a few years ago. However, the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper batsman doesn’t want to be CSK’s top pick as that would see him earning the most money. Instead, he wants the management to prefer another player who is worthy of being their top-earning player.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

It has to be noted that if CSK is retaining a total of 4 players, their top pick will earn a whopping INR 16 crore. The franchise, reportedly, doesn’t mind retaining MS Dhoni for the price, thinking if he retires after IPL 2022 season, it will have a bigger purse for the IPL 2023 season.

The No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 picks will earn INR 12cr, 8cr, and 6cr, respectively. While skipper MS Dhoni is the franchise’s No. 1 priority, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad are next on the list.

Chennai Super Kings Can Retain Only One Of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, Dwayne Bravo, And Faf du Plessis

From the overseas lot, Chennai Super Kings has its eyes on Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, Dwayne Bravo as well as Faf du Plessis. However, only one of them can be retained.

The chances of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran staying at the franchise are higher considering they both are all-rounders and have contributed significantly towards CSK’s success in the recent past. The Chennai Super Kings are also expected to target those they fail to retain in the auction.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

The now 40-year-old MS Dhoni started his T20I career, guiding Team India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, a year before IPL started. Thereafter, he helped his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings win the Indian Premier League four times and the Champions League T20 a couple of times as well.

MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 114 runs in IPL 2021 in 16 games averaging a dismal 16.28. His strike rate was also below 120 both times. MS Dhoni still remains the only skipper to win all 3 ICC titles the inaugural T20I World Cup (2007), the 50 overs ODI World Cup after a hiatus of 28 years (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
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Krunal Pandya Decides To Step Down As Baroda Skipper After Team Won Only 1 Match In SMAT

Krunal Pandya has decided to step down as Baroda team captain from the forthcoming domestic season.

The 30-year-old spin all-rounder informed the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) president Pranav Amin through email on Friday evening. Under the senior Pandya’s captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where they finished last in Group B.

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya (Instagram)

Krunal Pandya Steps Down As Skipper Of Baroda After Poor Run In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Where They Finished Last

The team managed to win just one game in five matches and failed to qualify for the knock-outs for the domestic T20 tournament. Under Krunal Pandya’s captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where they finished last in Group B.

In his email, Krunal Pandya wrote, “This is to put on record that I will be unavailable to lead Baroda in the current domestic season. However, I will be available for selection to play for the team. I will offer my best as a team member and player to Baroda cricket. My support and contribution will always be in the best interest of the team.”

Krunal Pandya Of Mumbai Indians- [File photo]
Krunal Pandya Of Mumbai Indians- [File photo]
In the five games, Krunal Pandya scored 87 runs with one half-century and took five wickets at an economy rate of 5.94. This came under the charge of new Baroda coach Dav Whatmore, whose tenure at the team got off to a disappointing start.

It is understood that BCA will now appoint veteran Kedar Devdhar as captain while left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt is likely to be appointed vice-captain of the team for the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy, which is scheduled to be played next month. Kedar Devdhar had previously captained the team to the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year.

Krunal Pandya Was Accused Of Using Abusive Language Towards Deepak Hooda

Krunal Pandya took over as skipper two seasons ago, but his time as captain was marred by a few controversies. Last year, Deepak Hooda, who later moved to Rajasthan, had written an email to BCA where he had made a series of allegations about the skipper, the senior Pandya after he had spat with the Mumbai Indians player.

“At this moment, I am demoralized, depressed, and under pressure. For the past few days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandya is using abusive language towards me in front of my teammates and also other state teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara,” Hooda, who represented Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, wrote.

Deepak Hooda screengrab
Deepak Hooda screengrab

Deepak Hooda later decided to move on from BCA and represented Rajasthan this season.

Krunal Pandya has so far scored 1143 runs in 84 matches where he also picked 51 wickets averaging 34.76 whereas his batting average is 22.86. His best bowling figure is 3/14 in 2017. His highest score is 86 in 2016, and it is his only half-century in IPL.

Krunal Pandya has played 19 T20Is where he picked 15 wickets averaging 36.93 and scored 124 runs averaging 24.8. He debuted against West Indies in 2018 and played his last T20I against Sri Lanka in 2021 after which he was hit with Covid-19. He has picked up 1 four-wicket haul in T20I as his career-best bowling figure is 4/36.  He has also played 5 ODIs amassing 130 runs averaging 65 and taken 2 scalps, playing all his matches in 2021.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians are all but set to part ways with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya as none of them is on the five-time champions’ retention list. The reports have suggested that Mumbai Indians will go with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, and Ishan Kishan as their four retentions for IPL 2022 in all likeliness.

Hardik Pandya played 12 games in the 2021 season but scored just 127 runs at an average of 14.11 and hasn’t bowled a single ball in the last two seasons. Krunal Pandya too struggled, scoring just 143 runs in 13 matches at an average of 14.3 while taking just five wickets in the 2021 season.

David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)
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David Warner Says No To Captain SRH Again In IPL 2022

David Warner’s infamous fallout with the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise has all but marked his association with the IPL franchise. But that has not stopped the fans from hoping that perhaps one day the two parties will reunite. David Warner joined SRH back in 2014 and served the team for eight long years, but things went awry between the two when SRH stripped the Australian opener of captaincy and later dropped him from the Playing XI, picking Jason Roy instead of him.
In the T20I World Cup 2021, David Warner opened the batting. The charismatic New South Welshman amassed an impressive 289 runs, including a blistering 53 off 38 balls in the final to help the Aussies successfully chase down 172 against New Zealand. He finished the tournament as the second-leading run-scorer behind Pakistan’s Babar Azam (303 runs).
Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
Australia’s David Warner (Associated Press)

David Warner Reacts Negatively When Asked By A Fan To Captain SRH Again In IPL 2022 Under Tom Moody

Although there has been no official word from the franchise about releasing David Warner in IPL 2022, a social media post shortly after the conclusion of the IPL 2021 hinted that the batter has parted ways with the franchise.
Ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, as teams gear up to finalize the list of retained players, there are certain speculations that suggest that there might just be a tiny ray of hope to watch David Warner and SRH get back together. However, as far as David Warner is concerned, he has nothing to do with SRH.

On an SRH fan page on Instagram called ‘WeAreOrangeArmy’, when a fan mentioned the prospect of Tom Moody coaching and Warner captaining the side, to which Warner put in a prompt two-word reply: “No thanks.”

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

SRH endured a forgettable campaign in IPL 2021, finishing with the wooden spoon. In the first half, after losing five matches out of seven, David Warner was removed as captain of the side and replaced by Kane Williamson.

IPL 2021 has been the Australian’s worst season ever with just 195 runs in 8 games, with two fifties, averaging 24.38, and striking at 107.73. As the IPL 2021 season resumed in UAE, the Aussie opener featured in the first two games for SRH but aggregated just 2 runs.

David Warner Even Led SRH To A Title In 2016 And Won Orange Cap Thrice All With Sunrisers Hyderabad

However, the change in guard couldn’t help much in turning the fortunes of the franchise as the team slipped to the bottom of the table. David Warner was subsequently dropped but returned for the first two matches of the second phase. However, following scores of 0 and 2, David Warner never made it back to the Playing XI and even stayed back at the hotel for a couple of matches.

David Warner
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

David Warner is still the only player to win the IPL Orange Cap three times, and with SRH on all occasions. He even led SRH to an IPL title in 2016 and holds the record for the second-most runs in a single edition of the IPL (848 in 2017) after Virat Kohli’s 873 runs in 2016.

He has been SRH’s star opener for a number of years, having carried the weight of a fragile middle order single-handedly. He was the Orange Cap winner in 2015, 2017, and 2019, having amassed 4014 runs in 95 games for the franchise at a whopping average of 49.56 and striking at 142.59.

He is still the IPL’s 5th highest scorer, having amassed 5449 runs in 150 games averaging 41.59 with 4 tons and 50 fifties. He has hit the maximum number of the fifties in IPL history. David Warner led SRH to their maiden IPL title in 2016 as they defeated Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final by eight runs.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained, KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad To Be Retained By CSK

Sanju Samson is the first player Rajasthan Royals have retained for IPL 2022. The 27-year old will continue as captain after agreeing to an INR 14 crore per season contract this week. Sanju Samson, it is learned, was first on the list of players Rajasthan Royals wanted to keep before the retention window for IPL 2022 closes on November 30.
The frontrunners for the remaining three slots (in no particular order) are – wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, fast bowler Jofra Archer, allrounder Liam Livingstone – and uncapped opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
IPL 2022: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained By Rajasthan Royals; Chennai Super Kings May Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ruturaj Gaikwad; KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings

Sanju Samson joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for INR 8 crore. Sanju Samson was elevated to the captaincy last season and though he couldn’t take the team into the playoffs he still finished IPL 2021 with 484 runs at a strike rate of 137.  Ben Stokes (INR 12.5 crore), Jofra Archer (INR 7.2 crore), and Jos Buttler (INR 4.4 crore) also cost the Rajasthan Royals big money but they’ve been big-impact players. Jofra Archer even won Player of the Tournament in 2020 but had to sit this year out due to injury.

Even as the first deadline for the retentions is approaching, the franchises are in talks with players in a bid to get their preferred personnel. BCCI authorities have also been apprised of this. The eight existing IPL teams have November 30 to decide their retentions and already speculations are rife as to who is being retained or discarded.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant is set to stay on as captain of the Delhi Capitals while KL Rahul is all set to leave Punjab Kings and one of the new franchises, most likely Lucknow, could rope him in.

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya may be approached by the new Ahmedabad franchise if they don’t figure in the Mumbai Indians’ retention list. Shreyas Iyer, it is learned, will prefer to be in the auction pool rather than being retained while Shikhar Dhawan, too, is one of the players hotly pursued by the two new teams.

The other big retention talk is that some players are unwilling to stay with a few franchises and the management also is not exactly fretting over it. The franchises would rather go in with a full purse and buy afresh. Others, depending on the number of their retentions, will have fewer funds.

Besides MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings is likely to retain Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad. One of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Faf du Plessis will be their choice for the foreign player retention, with the franchise confirming that skipper MS Dhoni will have the final say on that matter. A top CSK official said that the franchise will try hard to buy back the players in the auction they fail to retain.

Mumbai Indians Pondering To Retain Kieron Pollard While Royal Challengers Bangalore Yet To Decide Their Skipper; Sunrisers Hyderabad Is Negotiating With Spinner Rashid Khan  To Retain Him

Mumbai Indians could retain Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan apart from Rohit Sharma but the internal debate for the five-time champions is on Kieron Pollard who is being seen as retention material. MI is unlikely to let him go.

Apart from Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Anrich Nortje or Kagiso Rabada are said to be on the Delhi Capitals retention list. The big debate in their camp is around pacer Avesh Khan, who has done well in IPL 2021. Having still not played for India, he could come for just Rs 4 crore, the price tag for an uncapped player.

Besides, Virat Kohli, the others in the retention list of Royal Challengers Bangalore could be opener Devdutt Paddikal, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal or pacer Mohammed Siraj, besides big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The point to ponder for them is who will be their skipper. With KL Rahul unlikely to be available in the auction, they need a quality player to step into the shoes of Virat Kohli, who has given up captaincy.

Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

Sunrisers Hyderabad could end up with only one retention in Kane Williamson, who is set to continue as their captain as well. The second retention could be spinner Rashid Khan, who has the best economy rate in IPL history but it is understood that a hard bargain is ongoing between the two parties.

Negotiations are also underway between Rashid Khan and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Afghanistan leggie, one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, wants to be retained as the No. 1 player in IPL 2022 and the franchise may want to give that privilege to Kane Williamson, one of the most revered captains in world cricket. For the record, the difference between the two positions is Rs 4 crore (more than half a million dollars).

Punjab Kings may retain a couple of uncapped players like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh for IPL 2022. Shahrukh Khan, who recently smashed a last-ball six in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 final, is also on that radar too.

The frontline choices of Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2022 seem to be Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, whom the franchise has taken much care of. The likes of Shubman Gill and big-hitting Andre Russell follow while IPL 2021 UAE leg sensation Venkatesh Iyer is a dark horse to be retained.

For existing teams, the deadline for retentions for IPL 2022 is until November 30. For the two new teams, the timeline to pick their players is from December 1-25. The 8 existing teams will first get the opportunity to retain a maximum of four players – not more than three Indians and not more than two foreigners.

Thereafter, the two new teams will be able to pick a maximum of three players – not more than two Indians and not more than one foreignerbefore the mega auctions. Rs. 90 Crores is what the 10 teams have but deductions will apply based on the number of retentions.

In case of 4 retentions, Rs 42 crore will be cut from the funds, Rs 33 crore in case of 3 retentions, Rs 24 crore if there are 2 retentions, and only Rs 14 crore if a team keeps only one player. However, if a franchisee pays any player(s) more than the suggested slab (they are permitted to), then the difference is deductible from the franchise’s purse.

Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
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Michael Hussey Opens Up On Battling With Covid-19 During IPL 2021 India Leg

Michael Hussey recounted his horrific battle with COVID-19 during the 2021 Indian Premier League. Michael Hussey had tested positive for the virus during the India leg of IPL 2021. The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season was a unique edition as it was played in two halves in two different countries.

While the first leg took place in India during the summer, the second half took place in September-October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unfortunately, it was a COVID-19 outbreak across the league in May, which forced the tournament to be suspended and completed in the UAE later in the year. Out of the people to test positive, one was Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey.

Michael Hussey opened up on his CoVId-19 experience during IPL 2021
Michael Hussey opened up on his Covid-19 experience during IPL 2021  |  Photo Credit: IANS

Michael Hussey Felt Uneasy Flying To Covid-19 Hit India And After Getting Affected Was Isolated, Worried and Feeling Progressively Worse

Michael Hussey has opened up on his ordeal with the disease and described his experience of sitting in a body bag to be shifted from Delhi to Chennai in an air ambulance. The CSK coach also claimed he had doubts over coming to India from ‘the safest place in the world.’

In a column, Hussey wrote, “I felt uneasy when the time came to leave Perth earlier this year to coach with the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League.‘Why am I leaving one of the safest places in the world?”

“But I love my job and I had made a commitment to coach at the IPL. So, despite my nervousness, I flew to India and embarked on the mandatory seven-day quarantine which was a prerequisite for entering the IPL bubble,” he added. 

Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo - TOI)
Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo – TOI)

Michael Hussey spoke about his experience after being one of the support staff testing positive for COVID-19 and his isolation at the time. He described how his symptoms continued to get progressively worse in the beginning.

“I was locked in my room immediately. No one could come in, and I obviously couldn’t leave. Food was left outside my door like in quarantine. I was isolated, a bit worried and feeling progressively worse,” said Hussey. 

He further said, “My symptoms: I had a bad fever to the point where I was changing my shirt four or five times a night from sweating out. I had a relentless dry, barking cough. And I was really tired. I would try and sit at my desk to do some work, but quickly feel the need for a lie-down. I would wake up from what felt like a quick nap to realise three or so hours had passed.”

Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach, believes that travelling from Mumbai to Delhi during the course of the IPL 2021 first Indian leg exposed all those involved to greater risk.

Michael Hussey and CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, both of whom were detected with COVID-19, were brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance.

Michael Hussey Realized He Was Probably In The Worst Place To Get Covid-19

Michael Hussey claimed that the worsening COVID-19 situation in Delhi became a source of worry for doctors and led to his decision to be taken to Chennai in an air ambulance.

He wrote “The doctor with the team was concerned. He realised I was probably in the worst place in the world to get Covid at that time. Delhi was recording hundreds of thousands of known new cases a day, there were very few hospital beds and many, many more people lining up outside the hospitals in need of them.”

“If things turned bad, the doctor wasn’t sure if I could get the medical assistance I would need. They decided the best thing to do was to fly me back to Chennai, the team’s home base,” added Hussey. 

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Michael Hussey further described that he had to sit in a fully zipped body-bad to take the flight to Chennai.

“All I could do was trust them. Once we got to the airport, I was wheeled straight onto the plane on a stretcher inside the body bag. The air ambulance flight to Chennai took about three and a half hours. Then it was back into an ambulance and straight to a quarantine hotel,” said the CSK assistant coach. 

Michael Hussey concluded by saying he felt ‘lucky’ after seeing the suffering of so many people around the country.

“All that said, I was incredibly lucky. There were so many people in worse situations than me. I had an employer that went out of its way to look after me at a time of crisis for the country. As confronting as it was to be sick and stranded, having people on the ground with your best interests at heart was very comforting,” said the Australian. 

Michael Hussey returned to the CSK camp for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and oversaw the team’s fourth title victory as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.

KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results. Then, however, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. Earlier KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni For Next 3 IPL Seasons As Franchises Decide On Player Retentions For IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings are likely to retain their longstanding captain MS Dhoni for the next three Indian Premier League seasons. Apart from MS Dhoni, the franchise Chennai Super Kings is set to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad-the top run-getter in IPL 2021, who played crucial roles as Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 IPL title.

As per BCCI rules, each team is allowed to retain a maximum of four players. Chennai Super Kings is also in talks with England all-rounder Moeen Ali to come on board. As BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the next season of IPL 2022 will be played in India, CSK feels Moeen Ali could be a handy player on the slow, turning Chennai wicket.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad And Moeen Ali Or Sam Curran

If Moeen Ali doesn’t agree to stay, Chennai Super Kings will have left-arm medium-pacer Sam Curran as their fourth retained player. The franchises have to submit their lists of retained players by November 30 and the IPL 2022 will have its mega auction next month.

Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with the brand value he brings to the team. At a recent Chennai Super Kings event, MS Dhoni had confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai, putting his IPL retirement speculations to bed.

“I have always planned my cricket. My last ODI in India was in Ranchi. Hopefully, my last T20 will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, I don’t know,” Dhoni had said.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings are also likely not to retain Suresh Raina for the first time. The former India batsman has been out of touch and didn’t play crucial knockout IPL games. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals are set to retain wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and pacer Anrich Nortje. Shreyas Iyer was released since he wanted to lead Delhi Capitals, but the franchise was keen to have Rishabh Pant as their leader going ahead.

However, most franchises will be following the tactic of not retaining four players as this could lead to stress on their purse during the auction. It is understood that Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. While negotiations with their West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard are still on, the franchise wants to buy Suryakumar Yadav from the auction pool and chances of Ishan Kishan being retained are also bright.

KL Rahul Has Parted Ways With Punjab Kings And Will Likely Lead Lucknow Franchise

Two new teams Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group and CVC Capitals (though they haven’t been given the green signal yet from the board), have begun approaching a few top Indian players. India opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Sanjeev Goenka’s new Lucknow team. KL Rahul, who was signed by PBKS for Rs 11 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, will reportedly spearhead the new Lucknow franchise in the IPL 2022.

It is learnt KL Rahul has parted ways with Punjab Kings and has accepted Sanjeev Goenka’s offer. It is also learnt that Suryakumar Yadav was approached by the new franchise, but the batsman hasn’t responded yet.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to retain their two all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, while they want to keep Varun Chakravarty too. However, it is learnt that KKR is still deciding on whether to retain Shubman Gill or Venkatesh Iyer.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. However, he excluded pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 and inconsistent big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell.

Players Likely To Be Retained:

CSK: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran , Ruturaj Gaikwad

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill/Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy

RCB: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

DC: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan/Axar Patel

RR: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler

SRH: Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow/Kane Williamson

MI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard

PBKS: KL Rahul (if he agrees to stay), Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi

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