IPL 2021: KL Rahul & Punjab Kings set to part ways, franchise disappointed with team’s performance

Punjab Kings carries the uncomfortable tag of being perennial under-achievers of Indian Premier League. Despite all his batting exploits, PBKS captain KL Rahul has failed to change the fortunes of the team. Punjab team once again failed to qualify for playoffs this year disappointing both fans and the team management equally. Now it is being reported that both KL Rahul & Punjab Kings have decided to part ways.

PBKS Performance Under KL Rahul

2021 – 6th Position
2020 – 6th Position
2019 – 6th Position
2018 – 7th Position

As per a Cricbuzz report, KL Rahul has already played his final game for the Punjab Kings as he looks at a new home for next season. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce a retention policy for IPL 2022 Mega auction, it is believed that Rahul has been approached by a few prospective franchises, despite there being ambiguity on the number of retentions and Right To Match (RTM) cards available for a team.

Punjab Kings could very well use an RTM card and retain his services by matching the highest bid, but the Cricbuzz report states that discussions are ongoing for an amicable departure, drawing curtains on his association with the franchise.

  • KL Rahul was purchased by the Punjab Kings for 11 cr in the 2018 Mega Auction.
  • In his four years at Punjab, the Karnataka star has aggregated 659, 593, 650 and 626 runs, winning the Orange cap in 2020.
  • The 2014 finalists have failed to make the playoffs in any of their years with KL Rahul in the team, with him being the captain in the last two seasons.
  • KL Rahul is amongst India’s premier T20 stars and could fetch way more than the Rs 11 Cr he got in 2018, with many franchises heading into a rebuilding phase
  • The addition of two new franchises also increases Rahul’s chances of securing a hefty paycheck.
  • Punjab Kings meanwhile will hit the reset button again, as they go on the lookout for a replacement in the IPL 2022 Mega Auction.

Should KL Rahul be available in the auction, the Indian stalwart will force a hefty bidding war, especially with two new franchises also in the mix. The 29-year-old was sold for Rs 11 crore after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opted against retaining him before the 2018 season, and the Karnataka opener has repaid the investment with over 550 runs in each of his four seasons. Rahul surpassed the 600-run mark in three of those years, while missed out on it by a meagre seven runs in 2019.

KL Rahul is particularly an exciting pick in the auction, with the opener being a “run-bank” at the top of the order, while equally chipping in with wicket-keeping duties while offering a captaincy solution to any franchise. At 29, the Karnataka star in his prime years and franchises could “build around him”, something Punjab Kings have failed to do. Punjab have not finished in the top four despite Rahul’s herculean efforts with the bat, and the Indian opener will hope to find a team where can compete for honours on a regular basis.