The two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises — Lucknow and Ahmedabad — named their three draft picks each on Friday ahead of the IPL mega auction, which is set to be held next month. While Ahmedabad roped in Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill, Lucknow drafted in KL Rahul, Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi. Rahul, who will also lead the Lucknow-based franchise in the upcoming IPL season, was roped in by the franchise for Rs 17 crore, making him the joint-highest player in the history of the cash rich league.
In 2018, former India captain Virat Kohli was signed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 17 crore ahead of the auction.
The Lucknow franchise will enter this year’s auction with a purse of Rs 59.89 crore.
Apart from Rahul, Lucknow signed Australia all-rounder Stoinis and uncapped Indian spinner Bishnoi for Rs 9.2 crore and Rs 4 crore, respectively.
Ahmedabad, on the other hand, signed Hardik Pandya as their skipper for Rs 15 crore, while Afghanistan stalwart Rashid Khan has also been picked up for the same price.
Shubman Gill, on the other hand, was drafted in for Rs 8 crore ahead of this year’s auction.
Ahmedabad will enter the mega auction with Rs 52 crore in their purse.
A total of 1,214 players (896 Indian and 318 overseas) have registered to be a part of the mega auction, the IPL said in a statement on Saturday.
The list consists of 270 capped, 903 uncapped and 41 Associate players.
A total of 27 players have been retained by the existing franchises while the two new franchises have drafted in three players each ahead of the mega auction in Bengaluru next month.
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