On Tuesday, the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises revealed their list of retained players ahead of the mega auction, which is expected to take place later this month.
While Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) retained 4 players each, Rajasthan Royals (RR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) went with 3 players each.
However, Punjab Kings (PBKS) retained the least two players in the form of Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh. Following the retention announcement, Anil Kumble, the director of cricket operations of PBKS, revealed the reason behind not going for KL Rahul.
Kumble said the PBKS management wanted to retain Rahul ahead of the mega auction, but the Bangalore lad wanted to return to the auction. Kumble said players had the option of going back into the auction, therefore, they respect Rahul’s choice.
“KL has been the fulcrum for us in the last four years, and the last two years in the time that I have been with Punjab, he has been the captain. Obviously, we wanted to retain him and continue with him to be the focus for Punjab. But he decided that he wanted to go back to auction,” said Kumble in a video on IPLT20.com.
“And the rules of the IPL before a big auction is that the player decides whether he wants to be retained or wants to go back. So we respect that, hopefully, he will be a part of that auction and let us see what happens,” he added.
Notably, as per reports, Rahul is expected to join the new Lucknow franchise as the two new IPL franchises have the option of picking 3 players before the auction between December 1 and 25.
So far, Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL, in which he has scored over 3000 runs with the help of two hundreds and 27 half-centuries.