KL Rahul for INR 15 crore, Marcus Stoinis for INR 11 crore and Ravi Bishnoi for INR 4 crore
Indian cricketer and former captain of Punjab Kings (PBKS), KL Rahul, who was released by the franchise ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega-auction, has been roped in as the top player by the Lucknow franchise.
"Rahul will captain Lucknow. The team is deciding on the other two draft picks," an IPL source told PTI.
As per reports of ESPNCricinfo, Lucknow franchise will now enter the mega-auction in February with a purse of INR 60 crore as they drafted KL Rahul for INR 15 crore, Marcus Stoinis for INR 11 crore and Ravi Bishnoi for INR 4 crore.
Former Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul was the first draft pick of the new Lucknow franchise, which was bought for INR 7090 crore (USD 940 million approx.) by the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.
Rahul started his IPL journey in 2014 with Sunrisers Hyderabad and later he was roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016. In the 2018 auction, he was picked by the Punjab franchise for 11 crores.
KL Rahul was the captain of the Punjab Kings and led from the front by scoring more than 25 per cent of the team runs. In the last four seasons, Rahul has accumulated 2548 runs at a blistering average of 56.62 in just 55 innings. He scored 659, 593, 670 and 626 runs respectively in the seasons between 2018 to 2021. He does need to ramp up his strike rate but without doubt he is a reliable batter around whom the Lucknow team could build challenging totals.
Star Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was released by Delhi Capitals (DC) ahead of the IPL 2022 as they retained Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel. He played a key role in Delhi's success over the last few seasons. Overall for Delhi Capitals, the Australian aggregated 441 runs at a strike rate of 140-plus in 27 games for Delhi while he bagged 15 wickets with the ball as well. Lucknow will be his fourth IPL franchise for Stoinis.
Ravi Bishnoi, at INR 4 crore, is a real jackpot for the Lucknow franchise. The uncapped leg-spinner is currently one of the most skilled young leg-spinners going around the circuit. He was roped in by the Punjab franchise in the 2020 IPL auction for INR 2 crore, where he grabbed 12 wickets for the team.
Overall, the leading wicket taker of ICC U19 World Cup 2020 has so far bagged 24 wickets in 23 games in IPL at an economy of near about 6.00.
The 10-team IPL 2022 is expected to be played between April-June, 2022. The mega-auction for the tournament is expected to take place on February 12-13, 2022 in Bengaluru.