Wanted to retain him: Anil Kumble on why Punjab Kings released KL Rahul
- The Punjab Kings have retained Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh
- “KL has been the fulcrum for us in the last four years," Kumble said
- Rahul has scored 2,548 runs in the four seasons since joining Punjab in 2018
Franchises on Tuesday confirmed their retention picks for the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), with many big names being released into the auction pool. Headlining that list is Indian opener KL Rahul, with the Punjab Kings (PBKS) retaining only two players – Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh.
PBKS Director of Cricket Operations Anil Kumble confirmed the retentions for the franchise and also addressed why Rahul, one of the leading run-scorers in the last few seasons, was released.
Kumble said that while they wanted to keep Rahul, it the former skipper’s decision to leave the franchise and enter the auction pool.
“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,” the spin legend said in a video posted 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 said.
Meanwhile, Rahul thanked his fans and said his time at Punjab "was a good ride". Rahul posted a photo on his Koo account with the caption, "It was a good ride, thank you for the love see you on the other side."
Hardik Pandya, Eoin Morgan, David Warner and Shreyas Iyer are some of the big names that have been released by the existing eight franchises. The two new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will be allowed to pick three players each (two Indians, one foreigner) from the pool before the mega auction is held in January.
Rahul is reportedly keen on captaining the Lucknow franchise. The Karnataka batsman has been one of the best batters in the tournament since joining Punjab for Rs 11 crore in 2018, scoring 2,548 runs in the four years since.