KL Rahul, who has been playing for Punjab Kings since 2018 and has been leading the side since 2020, is likely to leave the franchise ahead of the IPL 2022 season, reports Cricbuzz.
Rahul had replaced senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as captain, after the latter was traded to the Delhi Capitals ahead of the IPL 2020 season. However, he hasn’t been able to take Punjab Kings to the playoffs in any of these two seasons, despite having a stellar outing as a batter.
PBKS finished sixth again this season after finishing at the same position last year. The Cricbuzz report states that Rahul will be up for grabs in the mega auction for IPL 2022 and discussions behind the scenes have already started to ensure that Rahul’s parting with PBKS is an ‘amicable one’ for both parties involved.
PBKS spent a whopping INR 1.1 crore to secure the services of Rahul in the IPL 2018 auction. Since then, he has been their best batter in all seasons and has also become their leading run-getter in these four seasons, with 2548 runs to his name, including two centuries and 23 fifties.
He finished as Punjab’s leading run-getter this season again, with 626 runs to his name and is also the highest scorer in the league till now. He has maintained an average of above 50 in each of the last four seasons and finished IPL 2021 with an average of 62.60 to his name. Overall, Rahul has 3273 runs to his name in his IPL career, at an average of 47.43 and strike-rate of 36.37.
Rahul’s stocks will be quite high as he goes into the mega auction this year. The BCCI is yet to release the rules for retention for the teams. It remains to be seen how many players will be allowed to retain and whether the Right To Match Cards will still be relevant, as two new teams are set to join the league.