Ahmedabad

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Should Be Thankful That He Was Picked For 2021 T20I World Cup Despite Fitness Concerns – Rajkumar Sharma

Hardik Pandya, the Indian all-rounder recently revealed that he was selected as a batter and was not supposed to bowl in the T20 World Cup 2021 because of his back issues.

The player pointed out that while he did push himself to bowl, he could not get the desired results. Hardik Pandya made these remarks while speaking to sports journalist Boria Majumdar.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

Hardik Pandya Should Be Thankful That He Was Picked For 2021 T20I World Cup Despite Fitness Concerns- Rajkumar Sharma

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma, however, labelled Hardik Pandya’s statement “immature.” He believes the team management backed him for the marquee event, despite concerns about his fitness. Rajkumar Sharma believes the player should be thankful for the same.

Rajkumar Sharma said on YouTube channel Khelneeti: “The selectors and team management favoured Hardik in the T20 World Cup 2021. Him coming out and saying what he said is not a mature statement. You should be thankful that they picked you were picked by the team management for the T20 World Cup, despite fitness concerns.”

Virat Kohli with his childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma (file photo)
Virat Kohli with his childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma (file photo)

Hardik Pandya had a forgettable T20 World Cup 2021 campaign, barring one innings against Afghanistan, where smashed an unbeaten 35 off 13 balls. More than his performances, it was the confusion over his bowling status that hurt India and also put them in an embarrassing situation during the ICC event.

He went on to play all the matches, scoring 11 off 8 against Pakistan, 23 off 24 against New Zealand, and an unbeaten 35 off 13 against Afghanistan. The 28-year-old bowled in only two of India’s five T20 World Cup 2021 matches in the UAE. He looked completely ineffective and was wicketless.

Nikhil Chopra: The Captain Would Have Surely Asked Hardik Pandya To Bowl, So No Point In Making Such Statements

Speaking in the same video, ex-India spinner Nikhil Chopra also stated that Hardik Pandya should have avoided making such a statement. He suggested that the captain would surely have asked Hardik Pandya if he was ready to bowl. Nikhil Chopra also reckoned that the selection committee should have confirmed that Hardik Pandya had been selected as a batter ahead of the competition itself.

He said: “The selectors in their press conference should have clarified that they have picked Hardik Pandya as just a batter and will only bowl when his body allows. There is no point in making such statements now on Pandya’s part. The captain would have surely asked him before bowling him.”

The Men in Blue suffered a group stage exit at the T20I World Cup 2021 in UAE. Hardik Pandya came under the scanner after the competition, with many claiming the dynamic all-rounder wasn’t fully fit for the crucial tournament.

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)

Reacting to Hardik Pandya’s recent statements, Nikhil Chopra said that the player might have felt that he was being targeted for India’s disappointing 2021 T20I World Cup campaign. The cricketer-turned-commentator remarked that many a time a player is targeted when the team performs underwhelmingly. He feels the all-rounder could have been that player after India’s untimely exit from the ICC event.

Nikhil Chopra added: “Hardik might have thought that he was targeted for India’s poor showing at the T20 World Cup. Several times a player does come under the scanner when the team underperforms. It could have happened with Pandya this time around.”

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya has been appointed as the captain of the new Ahmedabad franchise for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022). Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill are also set to play for the Ahmedabad side in this year’s cash-rich league. Hardik Pandya has only played for the Mumbai franchise in the IPL. He has played 1476 runs for MI in IPL so far at an average of 27.33 and picked 42 wickets averaging 31.26.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Chennai Super Kings Becomes India’s First Sports Unicorn Enterprise; Surpasses Market Cap Of Parent Entity

Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of IPL’s most successful franchises, has become the country’s first sports Unicorn with its market cap having touched a high of Rs 7,600 crores and its share in the grey market trading in the Rs 210-225 price band, ahead of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, which won its fourth IPL title in Dubai last year, now has a market cap more than its parent entity, India Cements. On Friday, India Cements’ market cap stood at Rs 6,869 crores.

Two key reasons which have led CSK’s market cap to go past its parent entity are the team winning its fourth IPL title in Dubai, and two new franchises being added to the upcoming season at record prices.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter

Chennai Super Kings(CSK) Became India’s First Sports Unicorn

The Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG Group bought the Lucknow franchise (Lucknow Super Giants) for Rs 7,090 crore, while CVC Capital acquired the rights for the Ahmedabad franchise for 5,625 crore.

N. Srinivasan, the managing director of India Cements and former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was quoted as saying on Friday that, “Brand CSK will outgrow Brand India Cements.

“If you look at the history of franchise-based leagues in the US, it will outgrow everything. Passion for cricket is so much in India. The road between countries will see franchise-based leagues getting precedence as we go along.”

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) holds a 6.04 per cent stake in the company while Ace investor Radhakishan Damani hold 2.39 per cent in the entity. It is notable that Chennai Super Kings is the only sports team in the country whose shares are available for public investment, and attracts interest due to their on-field performances.

N Srinivasan with MS Dhoni (BCCI)
N Srinivasan with MS Dhoni (BCCI)

The shares of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited (CSKCL), which controls CSK, had hit an all-time high in the unlisted market on October 26 last year, surging from Rs 110-120 per share to crossing the Rs 220-mark in trade within a week.

It brought CSKCL’s market cap to around Rs 7,000 crore, which was just Rs 500 crore short of making it to the Unicorn club and came just 11 days after they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the IPL final.

MS Dhoni Is In Chennai To Conduct Mock Auction to Prepare For IPL 2022 Mega Auctions In February 2022

Another factor that has contributed to the making of ‘Brand CSK’ is its unique fan following and the franchise-building of the team around its growing band of followers. Also, the fact that the side has hardly changed its core group in the last decade.

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

MS Dhoni is in Chennai before heading to Bengaluru for the mega auction slated for February 12 and 13. The franchise according to the available information will conduct a mock auction exercise and prepare themselves for the big days of mega auctions.

Chennai Super Kings head into the IPL 2022 mega auction with a purse value of 48 crores after the retention. The franchise retained Ravindra Jadeja (16 Crores), MS Dhoni (12 Crores), Moeen Ali (8 Crores) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (6 Crores) as in the process, they have tried to make up for at least one player in every department of the game.

Ruturaj Gaikwad is their designated opener, while Moeen Ali can be used as a floater in the middle order. MS Dhoni will remain the leader of the side and also the finisher. With Ravindra Jadeja, they get a spinner, a finisher and an all-rounder.

The 24-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who hails from Pune, was the leading scorer in the 2021 Indian Premier League after he amassed a staggering 635 runs and played a key role in Chennai Super Kings winning the title. He was the Orange Cap winner for scoring the most runs in IPL 2021 ahead of teammate fellow opener Faf du Plessis.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Will Continue To Work In Silence And Will Be Seen In Action In IPL 2022 Next Captaining Ahmedabad

Hardik Pandya who was released by MI has been roped in by the new Ahmedabad franchise and is all set to lead them in IPL 2022. Hardik Pandya has only played for the Mumbai franchise in the IPL. He has played 1476 runs for MI in IPL so far at an average of 27.33 and picked 42 wickets averaging 31.26.

Hardik Pandya proved a point with his unique all-round abilities when he started representing Team India in January 2016 and since then has gone on to score some vital runs in the middle-order, chip in with wickets, and also with his exceptional fielding performances. While Hardik Pandya’s cricketing career skyrocketed, he experienced a huge setback after he injured his lower back and had to undergo surgery in London in October 2019.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY

Hardik Pandya Admits Staying In A Bio Bubble Is Very Tough

Since then the all-rounder has played as a batter as the back injury forbids him to bowl though he was seen rolling his arms over on a few occasions. Now, the younger Pandya is toiling hard to recover his full fitness so that he can make himself available for selection in the national team with an eye on the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 later this year.

“I have always rushed myself with my preparation keeping the team’s interest in mind. But this time I wanted some time off to prepare myself physically and mentally. I also wanted to take some time off for my family. We have spent a lot of time in bio bubbles, though everyone has tried to make us feel comfortable, staying in a bio bubble is very tough”, said Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

It’s notable that Hardik Pandya was criticized heavily for his lacklustre performance in the 2021 T20I World Cup where he didn’t bowl much and also couldn’t contribute much in the crucial matches against Pakistan and New Zealand. Also, he didn’t bowl a single over in the last two seasons of IPL for Mumbai Indians.

Hardik Pandya had a forgettable T20 World Cup 2021 campaign, barring one innings against Afghanistan, where smashed an unbeaten 35 off 13 balls. More than his performances, it was the confusion over his bowling status that hurt India and also put them in an embarrassing situation during the ICC event. He went on to play all the matches, scoring 11 off 8 against Pakistan, 23 off 24 against New Zealand, and an unbeaten 35 off 13 against Afghanistan.

The 28-year-old bowled in only two of India’s five T20 World Cup 2021 matches in the UAE. He looked completely ineffective and was wicketless.

Hardik Pandya Wanted Time Off To Reflect On Himself And Understand Areas Needed To Work On

Meanwhile, the Mumbai all-rounder also mentioned that he needed some time off to reflect on himself and work on the key areas that he needed to improve on. At the same time, he also said that he would continue to work hard in silence. Since all the domestic tournaments have been postponed due to Covid-19, Hardik Pandya can prove his fitness only in IPL 2022 now which is likely to start in the last week of March.

“You spend a lot of time away from your family and that eventually takes a toll on you. I wanted time off to reflect on myself and understand which areas I need to work on and concentrate on improving those things. I am doing two sessions every day. I have always worked hard in silence and will continue to do so”,  he said.

Hardik Pandya Image: PTI
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI

Hardik Pandya who was released by the five-time winners Mumbai Indians has been roped in by the new Ahmedabad franchise and he is all set to lead them in the upcoming IPL 2022. However, in this IPL 2022 season, he will captain the newly inducted Ahmedabad franchise as he was signed for ₹15 Crores ahead of the auction along with Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. Image Credits: Twitter
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Arjun Tendulkar Picks Pacer Jasprit Bumrah As Favourite Player From IPL Franchise Mumbai Indians

Arjun Tendulkar, who was bought by Mumbai Indians in the previous IPL 2021 auction, has picked his favourite player from the franchise. Arjun Tendulkar picked the player in a Q&A session with fans on Instagram.

Rohit Sharma will go down as a true Indian Premier League (IPL) legend, not just as a player but as a captain too. The Hitman isn’t just one of the most successful players in the league but also the captain with the most IPL trophies to his name. But, there are other players in the Mumbai Indians franchise who have been world-beaters.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time-- BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time– BCCI/IPL Twitter handle

Arjun Tendulkar Picks Favourite Player From Mumbai Indians Franchise- Pacer Jasprit Bumrah

The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, and Suryakumar Yadav have been phenomenal over the years. When Arjun Tendulkar, the son of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and a former Mumbai Indians player himself, was asked about his favourite player from the Mumbai Indians franchise, his pick wasn’t the skipper.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

Arjun Tendulkar, who is an all-rounder, decided to go with marquee pacer Jasprit Bumrah as his favourite pick. The southpaw had answered the question during a Q&A session with fans on Instagram. Arjun Tendulkar was bought at his base price of Rs 20 lakh by IPL 2020 champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL Auction 2021 in Chennai.

Mumbai Indians bought the likes of Adam Milne, Nathan Counter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Singh, Marco Jansen, and Arjun Tendulkar in the IPL 2021 Auction but they failed to progress beyond the group stage due to inferior Net Run Rate.

Jasprit Bumrah has been the key member behind Mumbai Indians’ success in the Indian Premier League and the speedster has played 106 matches and has bagged 130 IPL wickets at an average of 23.05, an economy rate of 7.42 and a strike rate of 18.63.

Ahead of the IPL 2022 the franchise have decided to retain 4 players, including skipper Rohit Sharma (16 cr), Jasprit Bumrah (12 cr), Suryakumar Yadav (8 cr) and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard (6 cr).

Arjun Tendulkar Didn’t Get To Play A Game In IPL 2021 Despite Being In the Mumbai Indians Team

Arjun Tendulkar was bought by Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 auction but he didn’t feature in a single game for the franchise. The all-rounder is expected to be part of the franchise this term too. But, the question mark over his game time in the team will remain.

Mumbai Indians was the only team that bid on Arjun Tendulkar, who was the last player to be sold in the IPL 2021 auction. Arjun Tendulkar, 21, has been earlier seen in the net sessions of the team. He was in the UAE with the squad during the 13th edition of the IPL 2020 as well. The 21-year-old left-handed batsman and left-arm medium-pacer have played 2 T20s for Mumbai where he scored 3 runs and took 2 wickets.

As far as Mumbai Indians go, the franchise retained the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. MI, who have been a dominant force in the T20 league over the years, will be eager to get the most of its core team back from the auction.

Arjun Tendulkar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Arjun Tendulkar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya, who has been a key player for the franchise over the years, however, wouldn’t be available as he has been drafted in by the Ahmedabad franchise as the skipper. Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Trent Boult, and Krunal Pandya are some of the players MI would be keen to reunite with using the IPL 2022 mega auction.

Mumbai Indians have spent Rs. 42 crore to retain these players and they have Rs. 48 crore available for the IPL 2022 auction. Rohit Sharma is the first player that Mumbai Indians have retained for IPL 2022. The franchise has offered him a deal of Rs. 16 crore for the next season. Mumbai Indians is the most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they have won the title 5 times (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020).

Marcus Stoinis (Photo credit: BCCI/IPL)
Marcus Stoinis (Photo credit: BCCI/IPL)
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Gautam Gambhir Reveals Reason For Signing Marcus Stoinis In Lucknow Team For IPL 2022

Gautam Gambhir, Lucknow franchise’s mentor has revealed the exact reason behind signing Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. He reckons that the all-rounder can play the finisher’s role to perfection. The IPL 2022 will be a 10-team affair with the addition of two new teams Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

The mega auction for the upcoming tournament is scheduled to be held on February 12 and 13. Lucknow franchise has appointed former Team India opener Gautam Gambhir as their mentor and ahead of the auction, they have already signed three players. Indian limited-overs vice-captain KL Rahul has been named captain while emerging leggie Ravi Bishnoi, and, star Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis are the other two players.

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

Gautam Gambhir: Marcus Stoinis Is A Complete Package As He Can Win Matches Single-Handedly

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.

“After Ben Stokes, who is likely to stay away from IPL this season, Stoinis is the complete package. He can bat, bowl, and is one of the best fielders. I think his addition is good news for the team,” said Gautam Gambhir while speaking on Star Sports. “We have seen him perform in the ICC T20 World Cup. He can win matches single-handedly,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Furthermore, the two-time World Cup winner also added that the franchise has decided to rope in Marcus Stoinis purely from a finisher’s point of view since they were unaware of English all-rounder Ben Stokes’ availability for next month’s auction.

Gautam Gambhir also mentioned that apart from batting well in the middle-order, Marcus Stoinis has the ability to finish games as well. The Australian all-rounder has played 56 IPL matches so far managing 914 runs averaging 27.7 at a strike rate of 135.81 and has also picked 30 scalps averaging 32.3.

Marcus Stoinis Had represented Delhi, Punjab, And Bangalore In IPL

This will be Marcus Stoinis’ fourth IPL team. He had represented Delhi (Daredevils & Capitals) before making an impact for Punjab Kings, and, Royal Challengers Bangalore.  The T20I World Cup winner of Australia was roped in by the Delhi Capitals during the 2020 season and in the last two editions, he has amassed 441 runs at a strike rate of 142.71 and also registered 15 scalps.

Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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.

Marcus Stoinis has been offered a sum of INR 9.2 crore, while Ravi Bishnoi and KL Rahul have been paid INR 4 & 17 crores respectively. With three players already on board, it would be interesting to see how the Lucknow-based franchise plan out their strategy on the auction table in what is expected to be a high-intensity bidding war next month as they look forward to welcoming some key players to their team.

Meanwhile, Ahmedabad included Hardik Pandya (Rs 15 crore), Rashid Khan (Rs 15 crore), and Shubman Gill (Rs 8 crore) in their team, with Hardik Pandya being appointed as skipper.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.
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Captaincy Is Putting Pressure On KL Rahul: Sarandeep Singh

Sarandeep Singh, the former Team India selector feels that batter KL Rahul’s form was affected after he became the captain of the Men in Blue.

KL Rahul, who is captaining India in the ODI series in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, has posted scores of 12 and 55 in the two ODIs against Proteas so far.

Sarandeep Singh[photo: sites.ndtv]
Sarandeep Singh[photo: sites.ndtv]

Sarandeep Singh: KL Rahul Is In Phenomenal Forn In The IPL But It Seems Captaincy Is Putting Pressure On Him In ODIs Against Proteas

India’s tame surrender to South Africa in the opening two ODIs and the failure of the middle-order in both matches have ignited a debate on whether KL Rahul should bat lower down the order instead of opening the innings.

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.

“He (Rahul) is in phenomenal form in the IPL. He is a great batter but somehow he is not able to do well on SA series. It seems captaincy is putting pressure on him. The way he freely played in the IPL. He is not playing it over there in SA. The question is before going to the IPL what is your form, but great players are in the form all the time,” Sarandeep Singh said.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul was picked by the Lucknow franchise for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League 2022. Apart from him, Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and Indian domestic spinner Ravi Bishnoi have also been picked by the same franchise.

“Definitely KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis one of the best players Lucknow have retained. Especially Stoinis he is an all-rounder and he is a big hitter also. He can bat up the order as well as the middle order. He can bowl in slog overs. He can bowl with the new ball also. We all know what he can do in IPL matches,” Sarandeep Singh added.

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).

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.

Sarandeep Singh: If Hardik Pandya Bowls It Will Be Good For Him And Franchise

Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad franchise bought India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, and Indian domestic batter Shubman Gill.

“Great buys for Ahmadabad Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan. Rashid Khan we all know what he did with the also and Shubman Gill the domestic player they have bought it from such a good amount as well and he is worth all the money as we have seen when he plays for KKR he scored the fifties all the time.

“So, you know Shubman Gill can play for 10-12 overs and others will come around and play their shots,” said Sarandeep Singh.

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)

“You don’t need to say anything about Hardik Pandya, we all know what he can do with the bat. The thing is whether he is bowling fit or not because there are a lot of stakes on him. If he only bats and does not bowl then it is not good for his international career also.

“I am not saying that he cannot play as a batter but as a batter he needs to bat up the order. But I hope if he starts bowling then it is better for him as well as for the franchise and we need Hardik Pandya for the Indian squad,” Sarandeep Singh 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.

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

Meanwhile taking about the ODI series in South Africa, with the series already lost, India might want to test their bench strength in the dead rubber in Cape Town.

In the first two games, the bowlers managed to pick just seven wickets with experienced picks like Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar looking toothless against the opposition. The likes of bowlers Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini, and Deepak Chahar have been waiting in the wings for their first game of the series.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Sanjiv Goenka Confirmed KL Rahul Will Captain Lucknow; To Build Foundation Lasting Next 8 Years

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.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Signed By Lucknow IPL Franchise For INR 17 Crores

KL Rahul has been signed by the Lucknow IPL franchise for INR 17 crore (US$ 2.3 million approx.), making him the joint-highest-paid player in the IPL across seasons, along with Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli.

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.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

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 and Ravi Bishnoi, teammates at Punjab Kings, will be part of the Lucknow franchise.
KL Rahul and Ravi Bishnoi, teammates at Punjab Kings, will be part of the Lucknow franchise. © BCCI/IPL

“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.

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)

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.

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
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Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan And Shubman Gill Set To Be Part Of Ahmedabad Franchise In IPL 2022

Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, and Shubman Gill are set to be a part of the Ahmedabad franchise for the upcoming IPL 2022 season.
The Ahmedabad franchise, which was bought last October by CVC Capital Partners (Irelia Company Pte Ltd), has also finalized its coaching staff – they will be led by former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra, and former South Africa batter and head coach Gary Kirsten.
Former England batter Vikram Solanki, who is currently Surrey’s head coach, will be the team director. This is the second IPL franchise where the trio will work together: the previous instance was at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI

Hardik Pandya And Rashid Khan All Set To Play Together For Ahmedabad Franchise

Ahmedabad and Lucknow, the two new franchises participating in the IPL 2022, are yet to disclose the players they have bought but the deadline for doing so is fast approaching- January 22.  Both teams were given the same purse – INR 90 crore – the same as the existing eight franchises.
However, unlike the other teams, which could retain four players, the two new ones can buy a maximum of three players with the overseas slot limited to one. It has been learned that Ahmedabad has decided to pay both Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan the same amount – INR 15 crore.
It is also learned that Hardik Pandya is likely to take charge as Ahmedabad captain, a first experience for the allrounder in the IPL. The third player – Shubman Gill – will be paid INR 7 crore. This means the franchise will go into the auction in February with a purse of INR 53 crore.
Hardik Pandya’s rise, since he was bought as an uncapped player for a mere INR 10 lakh in 2015, has been exponential. By 2018, he had established himself as the best allrounder in India and Mumbai duly retained him as their second pick at the auction that year, paying INR 11 crore.
This is the first time Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan will play for the same team in the IPL, having previously represented Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Hardik Pandya is a four-time title-winner. However, Hardik Pandya struggled with fitness issues over the last two IPLs and did not bowl at all in this period. His batting, too, hasn’t been as effective as before.
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
That forced Mumbai to look in a different direction as they retained the in-form Suryakumar Yadav, who has proven he can bat and accelerate at any position. Hardik Pandya is currently focussing on regaining complete fitness and has not been part of any of the Indian white-ball squads since the 2021 T20I World Cup.
As for Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan legspinner became a big talking point immediately after Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to retain Kane Williamson, who will be full-time captain from IPL 2022, along with the uncapped Jammu & Kashmir pairing of Abdul Samad and Umran Malik.
In 2017, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought Rashid Khan for INR 4 crore and, a year later, they retained him for INR 9 crore. Remarkably, Rashid Khan featured in all 76 matches played by Sunrisers Hyderabad since his debut, picking up 93 wickets at an economy rate of 6.33. Only Jasprit Bumrah has taken more wickets (104) than Rashid Khan in the last five IPL seasons.
Sunrisers Hyderabad wanted to keep Rashid Khan, so they told him that he would be their second pick behind Kane Williamson. The talks got derailed thereafter, which freed Rashid Khan to weigh up his options, including going into the IPL 2022 mega auction.

Shubman Gill Also Set To Be A Part Of Ahmedabad Franchise In IPL 2022

For Shubman Gill, this will be his second team in the IPL having been picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 auction for INR 1.8 crore. The 22-year old, who has already played 10 Tests and three ODIs, has been earmarked as one of the brightest young talents of this decade, and at one point was even looked upon as a future leader by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
However, the Kolkata Knight Riders had several other options when it came to the retention and Shubman Gill had to be left out. Shubman Gill was a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and he was let go by the franchise as the franchise retained Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, and Andre Russell instead.
Ahmedabad’s third choice Ishan Kishan didn’t work out and they zeroed in on Shubman Gill, who could also be seen as a potential captaincy candidate.

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BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Silent On CVC Capitals As Their Lawyers Engaged On Finding Right Terms For Agreement

BCCI has been consistently and steadfastly maintaining silence on CVC Capitals after the American company’s acquisition of an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. The lawyers of the two parties are engaged in finding suitable and lawful terminology for the agreement to be signed for the Ahmedabad team of the extravagant league.

The protracted delay is only because of the efforts from the legal luminaries to find the right wordings for the fine print of the agreement. The broad consensus is understood to have been reached already. Despite the fact that there is an acknowledgement from all concerned that the issue is taking too much time but it is believed that the delay cannot be avoided.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)

BCCI Hoping To Stick To February Mega Auctions Dates For IPL 2022 But It May Be Extended By 1 Week Or 10 Days

An obvious fallout of this delay is the potential impact on the IPL 15 timeline and the board is believed to be preparing for this, even if it means postponement of the mega auction.  The new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – are expected to be given at least 15 days once the CVC issue is resolved for signing its players and that could have a rub-on effect on other IPL activities.

BCCI is hoping to stick to the February 12-13 auctions dates as of now, but if need be, it may put it off by a week or 10 days. The final auction dates will be announced once the agreement with CVC Capitals is signed which the board officials are saying will be sooner than later.

Like the original eight teams, even the new franchises will have an auction purse of ₹90 crores going into the auction. Out of which they will be able to spend up to ₹33 crores on the player draft. They are allowed to sign three players with a price bracket of ₹15 crores, ₹11 crores, and ₹7 crores respectively.

CVC Capital
CVC Capital: Getty Images.
CVC Capital, an investment firm, is all set to get the green signal from BCCI ahead of IPL 2022. It is notable that the company’s links to online betting and gambling companies became the big hurdle to their participation in IPL. Earlier the firm bought the rights for Ahmedabad based team after a successful bid of Rs 5625 crores while the other new addition- Lucknow based franchise is owned by Sanjiv Goenka group with the price tag of Rs 7090 crores.

BCCI May Utilize Only Mumbai As An IPL 2022 Centre For Covid-19 Cases Rising

Simultaneously, the board is also preparing a Plan B for the league. With the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the country, there may be a possibility that the BCCI will utilise only Mumbai as an IPL centre. At this stage, two options are on the table – 10 centres or just three centres (the Wankhede, CCI and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai). Going back to UAE has not yet been thought of by the Board officials as yet.

With the country seeing a rapid increase in the number of Omicron cases lately, the BCCI is understandably concerned about the Covid-driven health hazards nationwide in April or May, when the IPL is scheduled.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

However, the option of advancing the starting date by week — from April 2 to March 25 – is also being considered, the purpose of it being to have fewer double-headers and day games.

Meanwhile, BCCI extended the deadline for the two new franchises to sign three players before the Mega Auction. Earlier the deadline for the same was December 25. Also, the BCCI officials confirmed that the Mega Auction for IPL 2022 will be held on February 12 and 13 at Bengaluru.

It’s notable that this time IPL will be a 10-team affair. BCCI also asked various boards to submit the list of the players who will go under the hammer. Soon the IPL governing council will have a meeting with the IPL franchises to discuss the plans for IPL 2022.

Gautam Gambhir was appointed as the mentor of the Lucknow franchise for IPL 2022. Andy Flower has been picked as the head coach. According to reports, the franchise has approached Gary Kirsten to be the consultant of the team for the 2022 season. The franchise is also looking to pick KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer as the skipper of the team.

The Ahmedabad franchise is interested to pick Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the team for IPL 2022. Moreover, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are reported to join the Ahmedabad franchise as bowling and fielding coaches respectively for IPL 2022 season. Like the Lucknow team, the franchise might also target KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer for the skipper’s role.

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