Reports from Sportskeeda have suggested that the Ahmedabad-based new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has beaten the Lucknow-based franchise in the race to sign top cricketers who decided not to be retained by their franchises and has sent an IPL contract to Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.
The RPSG-owned Lucknow franchise was eager to sign on the world’s leading T20 bowler Rashid Khan and even the CVC Capital-owned Lucknow franchise wanted the Afghani leg-spinner in their squad for the upcoming IPL 2022. The two newcomers have been trying to get hold of Rashid and have been negotiating with him for weeks. The development comes close on the heels of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday (January 10) agreeing to issue the Letter of Intent to Ahmedabad.
It is learnt that the CVC group has already reached out to Ashish Nehra, Gary Kirsten, and Vikram Solanki for the roles of head coach, mentor, and director of cricket cum batting coach respectively. But again, the official word is awaited on this front as well.
Hardik Pandya To Captain Ahmedabad; KL Rahul To Lead Lucknow- Report
The Ahmedabad-based IPL team was in talks with former Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer to become their captain, but now reports have emerged that local boy Hardik Pandya will be given the honor of leading the new franchise in IPL 2022. They have also been trying to acquire the services of 23-year-old Ishan Kishan as their wicketkeeper-batter.
Meanwhile, the Sanjiv Goenka-owned Lucknow franchise has almost signed a deal with former Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain KL Rahul to become their captain. Failing to sign Rashid Khan would be a huge blow, but they have Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and South Africa speedster Kagiso Rabada as their backup overseas options.
The two franchises have been asked to submit their three draft picks – two domestic players and a maximum of one foreign player – by January 22. The IPL 2022 mega auction is slated to be held on February 12-13 in Bengaluru. However, with the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, the auction may be pushed back as well.
The BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla has asserted that everything will be done to hold the IPL 2022 edition in the country itself. However, reports have said that if it is not possible due to the COVID pandemic then South Africa and Sri Lanka are being looked potential alternates.