Amidst a tug of war between the two new IPL franchises, Sportskeeda has reliably learnt that the CVC Capital-owned Ahmedabad team has pipped Lucknow to send a contract to Rashid Khan. The star leg-spinner, though, is yet to send official confirmation.
The two newcomers have been trying to get hold of Rashid and have been negotiating with him for weeks. The development comes close on the heels of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday (January 10) agreeing to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) to Ahmedabad.
While there have been talks for former Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer to be at the helm of the Ahmedabad team, it has emerged that local boy Hardik Pandya will be given the honor. They have also been trying to acquire the services of 23-year-old Ishan Kishan as their wicketkeeper-batter. The two main contractual details - duration and salary - are yet to surface.
Though the coaching staff hasn’t been assembled yet, it is learnt that the CVC group has already reached out to Ashish Nehra, Gary Kirsten and Vikram Solanki for the roles of head coach, mentor, and director of cricket cum batting coach respectively. But again, official word is awaited on this front as well.
The board had initially kept Ahmedabad’s LoI on hold because of CVC’s close connection with a betting firm in the UK. However, after Tuesday’s IPL Governing Council (GC) meeting, both parties were due to go ahead and complete the paperwork.
Team India vice-captain KL Rahul to lead Lucknow
As for the Sanjiv Goenka-owned Lucknow franchise, former Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain KL Rahul is tipped to captain the side. Failing to sign Rashid Khan would be a huge blow, but they have Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and South Africa speedster Kagiso Rabada as their back-up overseas options.
The two franchises have been asked to submit their three draft picks – two domestic players and a maximum of one foreign player – by January 22. The IPL mega auction, which was supposed to be conducted on February 12-13 in Bengaluru, might be pushed back as the country is reeling under the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone is eagerly waiting for the names and colors of the IPL's two new additions.
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