Behind the reluctance of Rashid Khan and KL Rahul
That Sunrisers Hyderabad couldn't keep Rashid Khan and Punjab Kings KL Rahul couldn't hold were two of the main topics of conversation on Tuesday evening. Both of the non-holdings first reported by Cricbuzz have a lot more going for them than what appears at first glance.
The release of Rashid Khan, one of the leading bowlers in the T20 format, was a difficult negotiation indeed. As a franchise insider said, letting go of Rahid is similar to the Royal Challengers Bangalore releasing Virat Kohli or the Mumbai Indians releasing Rohit Sharma. It didn't seem so easy, however, when agents from both parties were embroiled in an intense back and forth.
As previously reported, the SRH team, which Rashid first bought in 2017 for Rs 4 crore and then used the Right To Match (RTM) card at the 2018 Mega Auction, wanted to keep the spinner as number 2. This would have meant that Rashid would be entitled to a fee of Rs 11 crore, which is Rs 2 crore more than his current salary.
After initially refusing to be the second retention, Rashid apparently relented but later refused. SRH says they still have a good equation with the gamer, but not so much with a London-based agent who was playing hard with the franchise.
The franchise may not have heard from Rashid afterwards, but they still hope to buy him at auction - that is, if one of the two new teams, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, doesn't get him on first.
KL Rahul and Punjab Kings
PBKS, on the other hand, did not succeed in keeping KL Rahul, whom they had appointed captain with a view to long-term goals. Franchise co-owner Ness Wadia didn't hide his disappointment. "He was our captain, we did our best (to keep Rahul). We wanted him to stay, but he wanted to take part in the auction. He had other plans," Wadia told Cricbuzz on Tuesday evening (November 30th) . Rahul is said to be on the way to Lucknow.
"We kept Mayank and Arshdeep who were part of our strategy. As for bowling, we are confident Arshdeep will soon represent India. It's too early to say if Mayank will be the captain, but he's talented and committed player.
"Our first step was to keep it and we will decide what is best for the franchise in terms of armband," said Wadia, adding, "The Punjab Kings didn't do as well as they should have done. Us have plans for the next season to ensure that "We will do everything we can to improve and we look forward to having the right balance for the team."
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Elsewhere, it was a surprise that Royal Challengers Bangalore left out Yuzvendra Chahal, one of the most enduring cast members for the franchise over the years. It is learned that Chahal may not have agreed to keep the # 3, which would only entitle him to Rs 7 crore. A larger amount at the auction table is certainly an option.
One of the most anticipated bonds was Venkatesh Iyer of Kolkata Knight Riders, who became an elite player from a virtual follower within two months. Team CEO Venky Mysore explained the logic of the decisions. “First of all, we're very proud of the performance of the KKR squad and especially the way Team KKR made a comeback in the 2021 season. Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy & Venkatesh Iyer. They bring unique skills and each of them is a match winner in themselves. We hope that we can build a very competitive squad around this core group that we have retained.Thanks to the whole squad and the great players we couldn't keep and hope to see so many of our players back in the KKR -Cadres can pick up, "said Mysore.
Finally, the absence of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer from the roster of Rajasthan Royals. Kumar Sangakkara went out of his way to explain part of it, saying that Archer's fitness was an issue. "We would have preferred to go with four players, but the uncertainty surrounding Jofra's long-term injury has forced us to keep only three," said the team's cricket director.