The captain of the Lucknow Super Giants franchise, KL Rahul, has finally opened up on his departure from the Punjab Kings franchise. Rahul had been at PBKS since 2018, and was their captain in the last two seasons, and although Rahul himself had blockbuster seasons with the bat, his side finished in the bottom half of the table.
KL Rahul, now a fixed player in India’s all-format teams and limited-overs vice-captain, decided to move out of Punjab after last season, and join the Lucknow Super Giants for 17 crore, becoming the joint-highest paid player in the history of the IPL; Virat Kohli, the former RCB skipper, was also paid 17 crore from 2018 to 2021.
With a week to go for IPL 2022, Rahul was asked about leaving Punjab Kings as he moves into a new chapter of his IPL career. KL said that he enjoyed his time and it was a “tough call” to leave the franchise where he attained immense success as a batsman, but wanted to see what lies ahead of him at LSG.
“I have been with them for four years and I’ve had a great run with them. Just wanted to see what’s in store for me and if there’s a new journey for me. It was a tough call obviously. I have been attached to Punjab for a long time. I wanted to see if I can do something else,” Rahul said in an event organised by Red Bull.
Punjab retained Mayank Agarwal, who has now been named their new skipper, and pacer Arshdeep Singh. While announcing the retentions, head coach Anil Kumble obviously felt the need to explain the rumours and situation with KL Rahul’s exit. Kumble stated that they wanted to retain Rahul, but the opener decided to leave the franchise, adding that they totally respect Rahul’s decision.
“We wanted to retain him, that is one of the reasons we chose him as captain two years back. But he decided to go into the auction. We respect that, we honour his decision. It’s the player’s prerogative,” Kumble had said.
KL Rahul will lead Lucknow in their first match on March 28 against the other debutants, Gujarat Titans, in Mumbai.