IPL 2022: KL Rahul shares thoughts on leaving Punjab Kings, prior signing with Lucknow

Indian international cricketer and skipper for Lucknow Super Giants, Kananur Lokesh Rahul or KL Rahul has spoken about his decision of leaving Punjab Kings prior to signing with Lucknow Super Giants for IPL 2022.

Rahul added his decision of leaving Punjab was simply because he wanted to see what he can do with something else, but tagging along with the franchise for another year in the IPL. Regardless, the decision was a tough call for the wicket-keeper batsman.

“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,” Rahul said.

Rahul, Punjab ahead of IPL 2022 auction

Punjab is keen on retaining the Super Giants skipper this year, but it is all back to Rahul who appears to have wanted to play under another banner. Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble said the franchise respect and honor the decision of its former captain.

“Obviously we wanted to retain him, that is one of the reasons we chose him as captain for two years back. But he decided to go into the auction. We respect that, we honor his decision, It’s the player’s prerogative,” Kumble explained.

Rahul decided to enter the IPL auction pool and it did not take long for Super Giants to sign him ahead of the auction for Rs 17 crores. In addition, the franchise made him their skipper for IPL this year.

Rahul had spent four IPL seasons with the Punjab Kings and relative those are great seasons the two parties ever had since Punjab is eager to retain Rahul for the fifth season. Being one of the best performers in all of those seasons with Punjab, he made 2,548 runs in 55 games.

Career stats

The 29-year-old began his cricketing career early in domestic cricket back in 2010 with the Karnataka cricket team and still playing for the franchise until now.

Rahul has recorded 94 IPL matches and 3273 runs. The former Bangalore squad no. 11 was named as the top-scorer back in IPL 2020 having recorded 670 runs in 14 matches. Indian cricket commentator Sunil Gavaskar added Rahul is a terrific cricketer in the previous seasons of IPL.

"He (Rahul) has been absolutely terrific in the last couple of IPLs. Look at the rate at which he has been scoring and he plays authentic cricket shots. He plays the occasional scoop or reverse sweep but, because he has got all the normal cricketing shots in the book, he doesn’t have to resort to these other shots,” Gavaskar said.

Rahul’s current career stats in all cricket formats, namely 43 Tests, 42 ODIs, 55 T20Is and 86 FCs. Respectively on each format, his runs scored are 2,547, 1,634, 1,831 and 6,444. Lastly, his batting average is 35.37, 46.69, 40.69, and 45.70.

The right-handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper is a flexible cricketer who is a regular player for Team India since 2014.

Being under the management of Zimbabwean head coach Andy Flower, Rahul and his men are set to make their IPL opener match against Gujarat Titans at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai in March 28.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.