Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble has revealed it was captain KL Rahul’s decision to part ways with the franchise and go into the auction pool.
On Tuesday, PBKS announced the retentions of two players ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction: Mayank Agarwal for Rs 14 crore and uncapped pacer Arshdeep Singh for Rs 4 crore. But, it was the non-retention of captain KL Rahul which has been a talking point.
Rahul has been with the Punjab franchise since 2018, and took the captaincy in 2020. While runs kept flowing from his bat in staggering fashion, the team couldn’t reach the playoffs in any of the last four seasons. Questions have been raised over some of the decisions made by the franchise, both at the auction table and by the coaching management.
Anil Kumble asserted that the franchise wanted to hold onto Rahul, and build the team around him. However, the dashing opener wished to go into the auction pool. The legendary leg-spinner said that he and the franchise respect the batsman’s choice.
“Of course, the major challenge for us was Rahul. Obviously, we wanted to retain him. That’s one of the reasons we chose him as captain 2 years ago, so he could be the core of the team. But he decided to go into the auction, we respect that decision. It’s the players’ prerogative,” Anil Kumble told Star Sports.
Rahul is likely to be picked by one of the two new teams; Ahmedabad and Lucknow can name their choice of 3 players each from the available pool of players.
Mayank Agarwal is a potential leader: Anil Kumble
Rahul led Punjab in 24 matches of which they won 10. Anil Kumble reckons Rahul’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who they’ve retained and who has grown in international cricket as well, is a captaincy candidate.
“I think when it comes to Mayank, the last 3 to 4 years, he has been with us, he has done exceptionally well for us. In the two years, I have been involved with the franchise, he has been very, very successful. Of course, he is again a potential leader. He has been around the IPL and international cricket for a long time,” the coach added.
The two new franchises have been given the deadline of December 25 to finalize their 3 players each before the mega-auction.