KL Rahul opens up on decision to leave Punjab Kings at the end of IPL 2021: 'It was a tough call obviously but...'
- Rahul admitted that it was a tough decision but he he wanted to know what else was in store for him.
The retention list released by each of the franchises before the mega auction for the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) pointed out a major aspect that sometimes it is the players who opt not to be retained. Sunrisers Hyderabad had to let go of David Warner and Rashid Khan and for Punjab Kings, it was their captain KL Rahul. Despite a phenomenal run a batter for the franchise, Rahul opted to part ways with Punjab at the end of IPL 2021 season and on Monday, he revealed why he took the decision.
Punjab's retention list left every IPL fan surprised as they picked just two players - Mayank Agarwal and uncapped Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh. Rahul had joined Punjab in 2018 and scored more than 500 runs in each of the four seasons- a records in itself - averaging well over 50 and at a strike rate of over 130.
Speaking to Red Bull Cricket, Rahul admitted that it was a tough decision but he he wanted to know what else was in store for him.
“I have been with them for four years and I’ve had a great run with them. Just wanted to see what’s in store for me and if there’s a new journey for me. It was a tough call obviously. I have been attached to Punjab for a long time. I wanted to see if I can do something else,” he said.
He was later chosen as Lucknow Super Giants' draft pick before the auction and was also named their captain.
Speaking on Star Sports at the time of the IPL retention list announcement, PBKS head coach Anil Kumble revealed that the franchise did want to retain him but it was the India batter who wanted to leave the team.
He said, "Obviously we wanted to retain him, that is one of the reasons we chose him as captain two years back. But he decided to go into the auction. We respect that, we honour his decision. It's the player's prerogative."