Ahead of the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Player Auction scheduled to take place in Chennai on 18th February, it is that time when many of the franchise owners and team management will be having those tense thinking hats on strategising and making their plans for the upcoming marquee event. A total of 292 cricketers are set to go under the hammer with 61 slots available which includes 22 overseas vacant slots across the eight IPL teams. However, on the other hand, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are very much occupied in some major business as they are set to rename the team name from King XI Punjab to Punjab Kings.
According to the latest reports in Cricbuzz, the franchise has already made a formal communication to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and it is also reported that they have received the approval for the same. It is also understood that the Punjab-based franchise will be announcing the big news and all the other developments in a grand launch event probably on the eve of the auction event i.e. 17th February.
The KL Rahul-led team got off to a poor start in the IPL 2020 losing games on a consistent basis, but in the second half, they returned back strongly with some brilliant performances. However, after losing their final league encounter to Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Punjab finished sixth on the table with 12 points and thus, failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Ahead of the auction, Punjab have skipper KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel. They have released the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh. The franchise will also enter this year’s IPL auction with the biggest purse of Rs.53.2 crores.
According to the sources, it is understood that the BCCI has introduced a brief quarantine clause for all the franchise members who will be attending the auction event in Chennai. According to the COVID-19 protocols, all the attendees will be required to get themselves tested and get quarantined before the reports of the test arrive.
“Before checking into their respective rooms, they (those arriving on February 17) will undergo a Rapid Antigen Test followed by an RT-PCR test for COVID-19 at the designated sampling kiosk set up in the hotel by the BCCI’s accredited testing agency. All individuals must quarantine in their respective rooms until results of the RT-PCR tests are available. Typically the reports will be available within 3-4 hours of sample collection,” the advisory sent by BCCI read.
For those arriving in the auction on February 18 itself, the advisory read, “All personnel arriving on the 18th February 2021 must quarantine in their respective rooms until results of the RT-PCR test are available. Reports of samples collected before 9 am on 18th February 2021 will be available by 1 pm. Only those individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 will be permitted to attend the IPL 2021 auctions.”
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