The revamped Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) came into the auction with the highest purse in the IPL 2021 auction. Australia’s Jhye Richardson became the highest buy for the franchise, as the side splashed Rs 14 crore on the bowler.
Richardson was the highest wicket-taker in the recently-concluded edition of the Big Bash League, taking 29 wickets in 17 matches for Perth Scorchers in the tournament.
The PBKS had an intense bidding war against Royal Challengers Bangalore for the signature of Richardson.
The Punjab franchise also roped in talented young uncapped player Shahrukh Khan, who represents Tamil Nadu in the Indian domestic circuit. Khan fetched Rs. 5.25 crore in the auction.
The youngster has been one of the hottest prospects in the limited-overs formats of the game, and played a crucial 19-ball 40-run innings in the semifinal of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Tamil Nadu, steering the side into the final. The side eventually went on to lift the title.
The side also bought Riley Meredith for Rs 8 crore. Meredith was another bowler who enjoyed a stellar outing in the BBL 2020/21, taking 16 wickets in 13 games. Fellow Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques was roped in by PBKS for Rs 4.2 crore.
The current world no.1 T20I batsman, Dawid Malan also went to Punjab Kings for Rs 1.5 crore.
In the last round of the auction, the franchise roped in West Indies' Fabian Allen on his base price of Rs 75 lakh. They also picked up Indian uncapped players Saurabh Kumar and Utkarsh Singh on their base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Formerly known as the Kings XI Punjab, the ‘PBKS’ underwent rebranding ahead of the new season of the Indian Premier League, and released their new name and logo on their official social media handles on Wednesday.
The Punjab Kings had released most of their first-choice overseas players, which included Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell and James Neesham. Among Indian players, Karun Nair and Krishanppa Gowtham were among the big names to have been released by the franchise.
KL Rahul will continue to lead the side in the new season, while Anil Kumble remains the head coach.
The Punjab Kings were one of the only three franchises in the Indian Premier League yet to lift the title. In the previous season, the Punjab Kings came close to the playoff stage, finishing sixth in the table.
Here’s the list of retained players by the Punjab Kings:
KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh
Players bought in IPL 2021:
Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan, Jalaj Saxena, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Utkarsh Singh