A huge shocker comes its ways as the Shah Rukh Khan owned Kolkata Knight Riders franchise have opted not to retain incumbent captain Gautam Gambhir, under whom they have won two IPL titles. Gambhir along with other swashbucklers such as Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh have as well come under the hammer.
KKR have instead elected to retain West Indies duo Sunil Narine for Rs 8.5 crore and Andre Russell for Rs 7 crore.
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Speculations arose when Gambhir had stated his uncertainty over his association with the purple cramp a few weeks back. The left-handed batsman said that he was willing to play for any team in the Indian Premier League if he wasn't retained by KKR.
“It is very surprising that I have not spoken to anyone (in KKR management). I don’t know about myself (future with KKR). We’ll probably sit and talk after the Ranji final,” said Gambhir before the Ranji Trophy final between Delhi and Vidarbha where the latter won their maiden title.
This matter comes as no surprise to the Indian swashbuckler who still awaits his for his call up from the Indian team after he fell out to many youngsters occupying the position. Gambhir had last played an International T20 match against Pakistan on December 28 in 2012.
“You have achieved so much for KKR. You have done whatever you could. If things do not work out in future, the good part is that you are leaving a franchise on a good note, when it has become a successful franchise. Not when you were struggling,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir has been instrumental in KKR's success as the 36-year-old has scored a total of 3,035 runs for the purple cramp in the previous seasons.
The IPL player acquisition policy allows franchises to retain maximum five players by virtue of a combination of pre-auction retention and Right to Match (RTM) cards for the 2018 edition.
Even players such as Dhawan, Yuvraj and Chirs Gayle have come under the hammer after the power-smashers weren't retained by the respective teams. Out of the Indian pacers, it was only Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah who were retained by their clubs where as Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami have been left out.