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  Sports   Cricket  28 Jan 2018  Some come home, others fly out

Some come home, others fly out

Published : Jan 28, 2018, 12:30 am IST
Updated : Jan 28, 2018, 12:30 am IST

The team KKR’s CEO Venky Mysore revealed that Gambhir had asked the franchisee not to retain him.

Gautam Gambhir (Photo: PTI)
 Gautam Gambhir (Photo: PTI)

Life has come full circle for Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh. The duo started their IPL career at home (Gambhir at Delhi and Yuvraj in Punjab), then moved away for a bigger challenge and they are now back to where it all started. On the wrong side of their 30’s, both Gambhir and Yuvraj are no spring chickens and it’s no surprise that the old warhorses fetched only Rs 2.8 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively.

In the time he spent away from Delhi, Gambhir became Kolkata Knight Riders’ most successful skipper by leading them to two IPL titles, but the franchisee dropped a bombshell by not retaining the left-hand batsman ahead of the 2011 season. What surprised everyone was that KKR had the Right To Match (RTM) card for Gambhir, but they refrained from using it.

The team KKR’s CEO Venky Mysore revealed that Gambhir had asked the franchisee not to retain him. “He was very much in our plans for the auctions via RTM. But he had a conversation with us well before. He felt that there might be a different challenge before (him), we don’t know what it was. And (he) requested if we would refrain from bidding from him or using Right To Match. And we said we will never come in the way of anyone’s progress or anyone’s aspirations... We’re sorry to see him go, seven great years,” he said.

Gambhir said he would like to end his IPL career with Delhi. “It’s special to represent your own city and I am a proud Delhi boy,” said Gambhir.

While it was a homecoming for Gambhir and Yuvraj, all-rounder R. Ashwin had to bid farewell to Chennai Super Kings, where he had evolved as a world-class spinner. “The auction is always a house of casino. I am happy that @lionsdenkxip (Kings XI Punjab) will be my new home and thank you so much @Chennaiipl (Super Kings) for all the great memories,” tweeted Ashwin.

Super Kings had given enough hints about their plan or lack of one for Ashwin. They chose Ravindra Jadeja over the local star while exercising the retention options. They did bid for Ashwin until the amount reached Rs 4 crore before pulling out of the race against Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.

CSK have snapped up veteran Harbhajan Singh, the off-spinner Ashwin replaced in Indian team.

Former CSK ambassador Kris Srikkanth said Harbhajan was a “fantastic buy.” “It’s a steal, to get Harbhajan for his base price of Rs 2 crore. He also gets along with Dhoni well,” he added. Did Srikkanth hint that Ashwin doesn’t share a good rapport with Captain Cool? Also, Chennai cricket politics may have affected ties as Ashwin had moved on from India Cements in the local league.

Not long ago, former India coach Anil Kumble had said that Ashwin is captaincy material. Leaving home may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Ashwin as Kings XI could consider him for the captaincy role. Ashwin had always been under the shadow of Dhoni — at CSK as well as Pune Super Giant. Kings XI presents a great opportunity for the off-spinner who is known as an astute thinker of the game.

Tags: yuvraj singh, gautam gambhir, ipl