The brand-new Lucknow based franchise has been accused of poaching, a practice that is banned by the governing body of Indian cricket. KL Rahul and Rashid Khan are the players who have been reportedly contacted by the RPSG owned franchise in an effort to lure them with higher pay.
Upon learning of the move, Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have complained to the BCCI over the ‘pursuing & poaching’ of their players. Both the players have been the backbone of their sides and the franchises are rattled with such a move. While Rahul was reportedly unhappy with the team management, a whole new reason has come to light if rumours of him leaving the franchise are true.
“We haven’t received any letter but we have received a verbal complaint from two franchises about players poaching by Lucknow team. We are looking into it, and we will take appropriate action if it proves to be true. We don’t want to disturb the balance. You cannot avoid such things when there is fierce competition. But it’s not fair to the existing teams when they are trying to balance everything,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.
Rashid Khan, on the other hand, is not happy with his salary as SRH look to retain him for Rs 12 crore. The Afghan wants to be retained for the highest salary slab and the franchise has reserved it for skipper Kane Williamson. With less than 48 hours till the deadline of announcing the retentions, both the franchises have their work cut out.
KL Rahul and Rashid Khan’s fate hangs in the balance
The BCCI and the governing body of IPL are looking into the verbal complaints. If the accusations are found to be true, the consequences could be dire for KL Rahul and Rashid Khan. It would be history repeating itself as Ravindra Jadeja was suspended for a season over being in contact with other franchises while still under contract with Rajasthan Royals.
“See, it’s obviously unfair. Till November 30, the players are under our contract and we have the right to negotiate and no one else as per BCCI guidelines. Hence, it is illegal as per the IPL charter. But it is not just about the new franchises.“
“In the past as well, many of our players were approached during the break or before an auction but this time with three first picks, it makes the job difficult for us. We can only hope that BCCI will make stricter guidelines and penalties in such instances for not just the player but also the franchise,” a franchise official was quoted in the report.
Franchises are rattled over the recent development as they look to solve their dilemmas. October 30 is the last date to announce the retentions and they have got enough already on their plate. The two new franchises will be given the option to pick players from the list of released players ahead of the mega auction.
“Poaching of players is not right in football and the same goes for cricket. I understand the new teams will be eager to get the best players but offering insane sums only contributes to disrespecting the existing teams. KL Rahul has been a valuable player and manipulating him to leave the team is not right,” said another franchise official.