IPL 2022: Hardik Pandya is in talks to become the captain of the Ahmedabad franchise; Rashid Khan, Krunal Pandya, and Ishan Kishan all are on the radar

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    Before the IPL 2022 Auction, the former Mumbai Indians and India all-rounder has been linked with a move to Ahmedabad. The CVC Capital-backed IPL club is poised to name Hardik Pandya as their skipper after receiving a letter of intent from the BCCI on Monday. Apart from Hardik, the new squad is close to finalizing a contract with Rashid Khan.

    Picking the Players before IPL Auctions

    Apart from Hardik and Rashid Khan, the Ahmedabad franchise is in talks with several other players. Before the IPL Auctions, the newly established franchise will select either Ishan Kishan or Krunal Pandya as their third pick. Hardik Pandya (Captain), Rashid Khan, and Krunal Pandya, or Ishan Kishan are three likely Ahmedabad franchise options.

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    Another piece of good news for the CVC-backed franchise is that the BCCI finally handed over the Letter of Intent to the franchise on Monday, after nearly two months of waiting. The India all-rounder is expected to lead the Ahmedabad club in their IPL first season, despite recuperating from a back injury.

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    Rashid Khan, the best T20 spinner in the world right now, is the second name on the list. After a failed salary negotiation, the Afghan spin magician has left Sunrisers Hyderabad and is poised to join a new squad.

    Krunal Pandya
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    Krunal and Hardik

    Krunal Pandya, a spin all-rounder, has also been connected with a move to the club, and either he or Ishan Kishan will be signed as the team’s third pick before the IPL Auctions.

    Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya were teammates with the Mumbai Indians from 2015 until they parted ways. MI had to release him before the auction because of his poor fitness and lack of form. Krunal Pandya debuted in the IPL a year later and was a member of the winning team.

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    CVC Capital has begun preparations for the inaugural season as it prepares to complete final documents with BCCI for the Ahmedabad franchise. It has sought Gary Kirsten to be the team’s mentor while settling on Ashish Nehra to be the head coach, in addition to finalizing hirings for its corporate headquarters in India.

    In addition to the title sponsor, the second recently announced IPL franchise, Lucknow, has named the head coach, batting coach, and mentor.

    Lucknow Preparing to Return to IPL

    In the meantime, the RPSG-backed Lucknow franchise is gearing up for its IPL comeback. They’ve named Gautam Gambhir as their mentor, and Andy Flower, the former head coach of the Punjab Kings, as their head coach. Assistant coach Vijay Dahiya has been appointed.

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    Aside from that, they’ve agreed to be the title sponsor for the next three years alongside fantasy gaming platform MyCircle11. The Lucknow franchise has also begun a one-of-a-kind name search. The fans will now suggest a name for the team.

    The franchises will have till January 31 to make their final draft pick. The BCCI had already set a deadline of December 25 for the two new teams to sign three new players. The deadline was extended due to a lingering issue with CVC Capital’s Ahmedabad franchise purchase. The BCCI has yet to make an official announcement on the date. The IPL Governing Council, on the other hand, has set January 31 as the deadline.

    Read: IPL 2022: Lucknow Franchise has started searching for the right name for the team

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