The Gujarat Lions had Cheteshwar Pujara's hometown Rajkot as their base city. While the Lions signed Pujara's Saurashtra teammate Ravindra Jadeja, they did not bid for the right-handed batsman at the auction.
In an interview with Cricbuzz on Tuesday (March 30), Cheteshwar Pujara said he would have loved to play for the Rajkot-based IPL franchise.
"Well, I was disappointed that I was not picked. But that was not in my control. It would have been nice if I was part of that side. That is in the past and I have moved on," Cheteshwar Pujara said.
The Gujarat Lions joined the IPL along with the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. The BCCI introduced the two new franchises after suspending the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings for two seasons.
Unfortunately, Cheteshwar Pujara never got an opportunity to play an IPL match at Rajkot as he went unsold at the 2016 and 2017 auctions.
IPL is the best league in the world: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara will make his comeback to the IPL after staying away for seven seasons. His last IPL appearance came for the Punjab Kings in a game against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
Pujara aggregated 19 runs off 18 deliveries in that fixture before losing his wicket to Corey Anderson. When asked if he remembered his last IPL game, Pujara replied:
"It's been long for sure. I was last part of Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings). My last game, I think, was against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede in 2014. To make a comeback to the IPL means a lot to me. It is the best league in the world and I have missed out on being part of it for a quite some time."