With the addition of two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – the number of teams in the IPL has risen from eight to ten, and that means a mega players auction is inevitable. The auction will provide a chance for the two new teams to build their own squads which leaves the other eight franchises in a tricky spot as they brainstorm over which players to retain and which to release.
Why is this a headache? Because, the teams have spent years building their own squads and as per the auction rules, they won’t be able to retain more than four of these players from their respective squads. Out of these four retained players, there can be a maximum of three Indians or up to two overseas stars.
India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who represents Delhi Capitals, feels that he may not be retained by the franchise. And he also predicted that neither will be Shreyas Iyer, who led them in two seasons.
“Shreyas isn’t there I think. I am not there. So, someone else would have to come. I would have known if I were taken,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin was traded in by Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2019 from Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) and has since become an integral part of their setup having taken 20 wickets from 28 matches.
On the other hand, top-order batter Iyer was picked by the franchise at the IPL auction in 2018 for a cool Rs 2.6 crore. He was named as their captain and led to playoffs next season.
In IPL 2020, DC made the cut for the final for the first time in their history and finished as the runners-up. Iyer was set to lead them in IPL 2021 as well but a shoulder injury meant he was ruled out of the season and Rishabh Pant was appointed captain in his absence.
IPL 2021 was suspended midway through the season but resumed in UAE in September. By then, Iyer had fully recovered from his injury but DC continued with Pant as the captain as they entered the playoffs after topping the group stage.
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