Punjab Kings on Tuesday announced their IPL retention list which included only two players in Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh. Anil Kumble, the Director of Cricket Operations of the franchise, made the announcement on the team's behalf. While announcing the retentions, the legendary spinner also addressed on KL Rahul's exculsion from the squad. Kumble disclosed that it was Rahul's decision to go back into the auction despite PBKS wanting to retain him."KL has been the fulcrum for us in the last four years, and the last two years in the time that I have been with Punjab, he has been the captain. Obviously, we wanted to retain him and continue with him to be the focus for Punjab. But he decided that he wanted to go back to auction," said Kumble in a video posted on iplt20.com."And the rules of the IPL before a big auction is that the player decides whether he wants to be retained or wants to go back. So we respect that, hopefully, he will be a part of that auction and let us see what happens," he added.
Speculation was rife that PBKS were negotiating with Rahul but the India opener wanted to move away from the franchise ahead of the mega auction. KL Rahul can be picked by one of the two new teams as the Ahmedabad and Lucknow franchises have time until December 25 to name their choice of 3 players each. Meanwhile, Kumble hinted that Mayank Agarwal might lead PBKS in IPL 2022 and heaped praise on young Arshdeep Singh, saying the left-arm pacer’s ability to handle pressure in crunch situations forced the franchise to retain him. “I think when it comes to Mayank, the last 3 to 4 years, he has been with us, he has done exceptionally well for us. In the two years, I have been involved with the franchise, he has been very, very successful. Of course, he is again a potential leader. He has been around the IPL and international cricket for a long time,” Kumble added. PBKS will head into the mega auction with the biggest purse of Rs 72 crore after retaining only 2 players.