Ahead of the 2018 IPL auction, the teams announced the names of players who they retained in an event in Mumbai. As expected, the likes of Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, AB de Villiers etc. were retained by their respective franchise while the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Gayle, Chris Lynn, Rashid Khan, Quinton de Kock, Shikhar Dhawan etc. were released by their teams.
Two of the most surprising retentions made by the franchises were Kings XI Punjab retaining Axar Patel and Royal Challengers Bangalore retaining Sarfaraz Khan. One can understand the reason behind Axar’s retention as he is the only player from the Indian team who was in the Kings XI side that played last year.
Sarfaraz Khan speaks on his retention
Speaking to Sportskeeda, an upbeat Sarfaraz was quoted saying, “First of all, I would like to thank the RCB management and Virat bhai for putting their trust in me and I would love to repay their faith.”
He added, “I was thrilled when Avinash Vaidya sir called me. I was surprised that RCB were willing to retain me. Thanks to them, who, from my leg operation to the rehabilitation, took it all upon themselves financially. They paid 5 lakhs for my operation and made me recover from the injury (sic).”
The young lad starred for the Virat Kohli-led franchise in 2015. He scored 111 runs at an extraordinary strike rate of 156.33 and put up an all-round display with the willow.
However, in the last season, he was forced to the sidelines on fitness grounds. No sooner did he get fit, he suffered a knee injury that kept him out of action for almost the entire year.