KL Rahul. Photo | BCCI/IPL Photograph:( Others )
Punjab Kings (PBKS) didn't retain KL Rahul before the IPL 2022 mega auction. Coach Anil Kumble has now revealed why Rahul 'decided to leave'.
KL Rahul was not retained by the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the retention list announced by the 2014 runners-up on Tuesday evening (November 30). The retained players from the Punjab franchise were Mayank Agarwal and local boy Arshdeep Singh.
While Rahul's release was a shocker for many, several reports had already indicated that the captain-cum-opener was looking forward to playing for a new team. As per many reports, the new teams such as Lucknow and Ahmedabad are interested in attaining Rahul's services. Amid all this, PBKS had to release the swashbuckling opener despite his good run as a top-order batsman (surpassing the 500-run mark every season in Punjab's jersey since 2018).
Speaking on Star Sports, head coach Anil Kumble revealed that Rahul was in their scheme of things but explained why he had to leave. He told, "Obviously we wanted to retain him, that is one of the reasons we chose him as captain two years back. But he decided to go into the auction. We respect that, we honour his decision. It's the player's prerogative."
Not only Rahul, some big names such as Rashid Khan, David Warner, Pandya brothers, Jonny Bairstow, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, etc. weren't retained by their respective franchises. All the non-retained players will now head to the mega auction for IPL 2022, likely to be held in early next year.
However, the two new teams such as Lucknow and Ahmedabad have a license to pick three players each prior to the auction. Hence, six players among Rahul & Co. can find a new IPL team before the mega auction.