'He has the ability to finish games': Punjab Kings CEO explains reason behind two big signings
Punjab Kings went into the IPL 2021 auction with the fattest purse among all eight franchises. The 2014 IPL finalists had a whopping ₹53.2 crore to spend on nine buys, given they had released Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham and Tajinder Singh ahead of the event.
By the end of the auction, the Kings would be extremely happy with their purchases. As required, not only did the franchise fill all nine slots, they saved themselves ₹18.80 crore. Their biggest buy was Australia fast bowler Jhye Richardson, who emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash League 2021, claiming 29 wickets from 17 matches.
Richardson was acquired for a whopping ₹14 crore, making him the fourth-costliest player behind Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson. There was some frenzied bidding for the Australia pacer before the Kings finally grabbed a hold of him, and franchise CEO Satish Menon has explained why that was.
"Jhye was always on our list. He is one of the finest components with the ball in white-ball cricket. We stretched ourselves for Chris Morris but Rajasthan Royals got hold of him. Jhye’s ability to bowl at any stage of the match gives us the flexibility we were looking for. And obviously, he is a very handy player with the bat as well. We are really excited to witness Jhye in Punjab Kings jersey in IPL,” Menon told WION.
The other players brought by the Kings are Dawid Malan (INR 1.5 cr), Shahrukh Khan (INR 5.25 cr), Riley Meredith (INR 8 cr), Moises Henriques (INR 4.20 Cr), Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 L), Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 L), Fabian Allen (INR 75 L), Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 L). After Richardson and his Australia teammate Meredith, the third-biggest buy for Kings, the highest among domestic players, was Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh, who plays for Tamil Nadu, has created ripples in the Indian domestic circuit and his tendency to knock the ball big is what worked in his favour.
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"Shahrukh Khan is a really exciting talent. A player we had a good look at from domestic tournaments. The way he recently played in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was a glimpse of what he is capable of and we are confident that he is someone who will be there for us for a long. Shahrukh has the ability to finish games and we were looking at someone with similar traits. Really happy to get him," Menon said.