The two new Indian Premier League (IPL) teams are yet to disclose the players they have bought for the 2022 edition, but reports are rife that the Ahmedabad franchise has already completed their permitted three signings ahead of the soon-to-be-held mega auction. (More Cricket News)
Ahmedabad franchise, which was bought by CVC Capital Partners, had already zeroed in on Hardik Pandya as the captain. Now, reports claimed that the all-rounder will be joined by his India team-mate Shubman Gill and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan in the new team.
Both Khan and Gill were massive match-winners for their respective franchises, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous editions. But like Pandya, they were also released during the retention.
"Ahmedabad has decided on its players and accordingly informed the BCCI about their draft picks. Hardik, Rashid and Shubman are the three choices," PTI reported Monday, quoting a senior IPL official.
The report also claimed that Ahmedabad also considered India and Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan, but picked Gill as the opener is also a potential captaincy candidate.
"They wanted Ishan Kishan badly but it is understood that Ishan is more interested in going back to the auction and there is a high chance that MI might buy him at a premium price," the source added.
Lucknow are the other new team. The two new franchises have the right to choose three players (two Indian and one foreigner) from the pool of available players as part of the draft pick before the mega auction. They were given INR 90 crore each.
Meanwhile, ESPNCricinfo reported that Ahmedabad have decided to pay both Hardik and Rashid the same amount - INR 15 crore. Gill will be paid INR 7 crore. So, Ahmedabad will enter the auction with INR 53 crores.
The deadline for the new teams to sign players before the mega auction was January 22.
The Ahmedabad franchise has already appointed Ashish Nehra as its head coach along with Vikram Solanki as director of cricket and Gary Kirsten as team mentor.
CVC Capital Partners, one of the world's leading venture capitalists, paid INR 5625 crore for the Ahmedabad franchise. But they had to wait longer to get the Letter of Intent.
BCCI has already set February 12 and 13 as the dates for mega auction. It will be held in Bengaluru.
KL Rahul, who will lead India in the ODIs against South Africa, is the hot favourite to become the captain of KL Sanjiv Goenka-owned Lucknow franchise. They have already appointed Andy Flower as the head coach.