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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.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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IPL 2021: The UAE Government Would Allow 60 Percent Attendance For 2nd Phase Of IPL 2021 At UAE

IPL 2021 received a big boost when the UAE government decided to allow 60 percent attendance at the stadiums for the second phase of the IPL 2021. This decision was taken after thorough consultations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), as per the reports in the Telegraph.

Earlier, when the BCCI hosted the IPL 2021 in India before it got indefinitely postponed due to a bio-bubble breach, where no crowds were allowed at the venues, keeping the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

The Emirates Cricket Board are closely working the UAE government to allow fans inside stadiums during IPL 2021.
The Emirates Cricket Board is closely working with the UAE government to allow fans inside stadiums during IPL 2021.

IPL 2021: The UAE Government’s Decision To Allow 60 Percent Attendance Will Come As A Massive Boost For Players Playing IPL 2021

Likewise, no spectators were allowed to watch the games live during IPL 2020, when the entire tournament was played in the UAE. With 60 percent of the audience turning up at the stadiums, it will be a massive boost for the players while playing the IPL matches.

The BCCI had announced the entire schedule of the remainder of IPL 2021 last month. According to it, in the span of over 27 days, a total of 31 matches will be played.  Amit Mishra(DC), Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy(KKR), and Wriddhiman Saha(SRH) contracted the virus. Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach Michael Hussey and bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji had also contracted the virus in India which led to the indefinite postponement of IPL 2021.

Fans At An UAE Stadium During IPL Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Fans At An UAE Stadium During IPL Photo Credit: (Twitter)

The second phase of IPL 2021 will commence on September 19 with a game between the Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai. A total of 31 games, including the playoffs, will be played in this phase of the tournament. It will come to a close with the final on October 15. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah are the three venues shortlisted to host the remaining IPL 2021 matches.

CSK and MI Are The First 2 Teams To Reach The UAE

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

Before the IPL 2021 came to an abrupt halt due to rising COVID-19 cases within the franchises, the Delhi Capitals (DC) were at the top of the table with 12 points (six wins in eight matches). CSK and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were second and third with five wins from seven games, while MI was fourth with four wins in seven matches.

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Punjab Kings (PBKS) have won three games each out of seven and eight matches, respectively. Kolkata Knight Riders won just two games out of seven, while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) got over the line only once in seven appearances and is at the bottom of the points table.

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Shahrukh Khan Of PBKS Reminds Anil Kumble Of Kieron Pollard

Shahrukh Khan, Punjab Kings’ new recruit has managed to impress the team’s head and director of cricket operations, Anil Kumble.

The former Indian captain heaped massive praise on the youngster and even drew parallels with Kieron Pollard.

Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble, And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images

Anil Kumble Says Shahrukh Khan Reminds Him Of Kieron Pollard

Anil Kumble recollected his experience of bowling to Kieron Pollard in the Mumbai Indians (MI) nets and said that Shahrukh Khan brings a similar skillset to the table.

Anil Kumble said in this regard: “Yeah, he reminds me a bit of Pollard actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit (in the nets), and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now, and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure”.

File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)
File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan has played 31 T20 matches thus far, scoring 293 runs at a strike rate of 131.39. With his batting exploits in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 25-year-old sparked an intense bidding war for his services in the IPL auction in February.

Kieron Pollard’s IPL Record: After his heroics in the CLT20 for Trinidad and Tobago, Kieron Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians for the 2010 season and has remained with them ever since. He has played many memorable knocks for them and has bowled several worthy spells. In 164 IPL games, he has scored 3023 runs averaging nearly 30 and has picked 60 scalps.

Shahrukh Khan Surprised At Bidding War At IPL 2021 Auction

The Delhi Capitals, the Royals Challengers Bangalore, and the Punjab Kings bid for him, with Preity Zinta’s franchise acquiring Shahrukh Khan for Rs 5.25 crore.

Named after a popular Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan is a right-hand batsman and occasional right-arm off-spinner. At 6 feet 6 inches, the 25-year-old showed plenty of promise in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League tournament, where he honed his skills and compiled 325 runs in nine games for a new franchise – the Kovai Kings and it paved the way for his comeback into the Tamil Nadu side.

He made his List A debut on 27 February 2014, for Tamil Nadu in the 2013–14 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 6 December 2018. He was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season on their way to winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021.

Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)
Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)

“Being amongst such stalwarts of cricket, it feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great. I have been having a lot of conversations with everyone around here, getting to learn a lot as well,” Shahrukh Khan has said about his Punjab Kings experience.

Shahrukh Khan said that he was pleasantly surprised that there was a bidding war for his services in the auction.

“The auction started at around 3 PM I guess, and we were practising at the Holkar Stadium, obviously I had to bat and bowl a bit. So I told our physio that ‘please let me know when my name comes up. I’ll take a break and come and see the auction.’ Luckily my name didn’t come up, and it didn’t bother my batting much. Right after we finished practice and we hopped onto the bus, I still remember sitting on the first seat and my name came up. My heart started pumping, but I didn’t expect it to rise as much as it did,” Shahrukh Khan added.

Punjab Kings went in with the biggest purse for the IPL 2021 auction after having released several of their big names, including Glenn Maxwell. As expected, the Priety Zinta co-owned franchise spent big at the IPL auction, bringing in overseas stars like Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith, and Moises Henriques.

Punjab Kings also signed up Tamil Nadu big-hitter Shah Rukh Khan, seasoned all-rounder Jalaj Saxena among others. After missing the play-offs berth at IPL 2020 despite a strong late surge, KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings will be keen on making it to the play-offs stage in IPL 2021.

IPL 2021: Punjab Kings squad

Retained players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh.

Players bought at Auction: Jhye Richardson (Rs 14 crore), Shahrukh Khan (Rs 5.25 crore), Dawid Malan (Rs 1.5 crore), Riley Meredith (Rs 8 crore), Moises Henriques (Rs 4.20 crore), Jalaj Saxena (Rs 30 lakhs), Utkarsh Singh (Rs 20 lakhs), Fabian Allen (Rs 75 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (Rs 20 lakh).