Aakash Chopra believes the new franchises might struggle to get big-ticket Indian players in their lineup for IPL 2022 as most of them will be retained by their respective sides.
IPL 2022 will see two new franchises, based out of Lucknow and Ahmedabad. There will be a mega auction ahead of the tournament, with reports suggesting that the existing teams will be allowed to retain a maximum of four players (three Indians and one overseas, or two Indians and as many overseas).
While reflecting on these reports in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that the new teams will find it difficult to get Indian players. He reasoned:
"Four players can be retained, it is a slightly mind-boggling number. The problem is if all the eight teams retain three players on an average in which three can be Indians as well, then if not 24, twenty Indians are gone. From where will the new franchises get the Indian players?"
The cricketer-turned-commentator added that the top-notch Indian players will already have been retained by their current teams. Aakash Chopra observed:
"Whoever is part of the Indian team currently, who is in the World Cup currently or is part of the core group of 20-22 players, they will all be picked, no one out of them will be left."
While franchises have the option to retain up to three Indian players, most of them might not do so. Some of the players might themselves not want to be retained.
"It won't be the cream" - Aakash Chopra
While acknowledging that the new franchises have been given three initial picks, Aakash Chopra feels it might still not help their cause. He explained:
"For the new franchises, they have been allowed to pick three first-choice players. But even if they are getting three picks in the beginning, it won't be the cream, the creme de la creme players will not be there."
The 44-year-old concluded by stating that the Lucknow and Ahmedabad teams might not have any option but to go with overseas captains. Aakash Chopra elaborated:
"Interesting times are there in front of us, we will have to see how things unfold, whether it remains four. If that is the case, I feel the new franchises will be pegged back a little. Then they will have overseas captains also and they will then surely raise their hands and ask for five overseas players to be allowed to be played."
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Some of the prominent Indian players might be interested in leaving their existing teams and joining the new franchises if they are given a leadership role. Ravindra Jadeja might want to lead the Gujarat-based franchise and the likes of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer could also be looking for new avenues.
Q. Will the new IPL franchises be able to get an Indian captain?
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