Following the stay on their team's termination from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia, co-owners of Kings XI Punjab, may have come out of the Bombay High Court wearing a wide smile on their faces.
However, the smile wouldn't have lasted long. After all, the IPL franchisee, on whose request the high court had extended the player retention deadline to Thursday, failed to retain a single player on their roster.
With the addition of two new teams, the BCCI had allowed the eight existing teams to retain up to four players ahead of a fresh player auction.
Though the deadline for retaining was till midnight on Thursday, it was confirmed that three teams - Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers - were not going to retain any players.
Though, Kings XI Punjab was not the only team to have not retained a player, it appears to have been the only team with whom no player was willing to be associated.
Since they had fallen out with their marquee player Yuvraj Singh after the second season, it was known that the southpaw did not want to continue his association. But the Chandigarh outfit was keen on retaining all-rounder Irfan Pathan and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, who replaced Yuvraj as the skipper in the third edition of IPL.
"Both the players, and some others who were approached, did not want to even discuss retention till their dues for the last two years were settled," a source close to one of the key KXIP players during the first three editions told Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity.
"Talks fell through at an early stage." The Kings XI Punjab management, however, preferred to evade queries related to player retention. "We are yet to study the court order in its entirety and will comment only after that," a KXIP spokesperson said when asked about retaining players.
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