The newest IPL franchise Lucknow has named its three drafts pick ahead of the mega auction. As reported earlier, KL Rahul has been signed as the captain of the team and will be paid a whopping INR 17 crores for his role. The 29-year-old has now become the joint-highest-paid player in the IPL history, along with Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Kohli was roped in for the same amount by RCB in 2018, ahead of the last mega IPL auction.

Along with Rahul, the Lucknow franchise also drafted Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis (INR 9.2 crores) and uncapped leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (INR 4 crores). Lucknow will head to the upcoming auction with a remaining purse of INR 59.89 crores.

“KL is not only an outstanding batsman but also a great wicketkeeper,” Sanjiv Goenka, head of the RPSG Group that owns the franchise, told Star Sports.

“Marcus is a great finisher, a good bowler and a phenomenal fielder. Ravi brings a unique dimension to the spin department and is an exceptional fielder. We want players to be here for 3-4-5-6-7-8 years,” he added.

Speaking to the official broadcasters, team mentor Gautam Gambhir said: “He [KL Rahul] is a work in progress, he keeps, he opens the batting.”

“He consistently has been a phenomenal run-scorer. And what’s better than someone who gives you three things?”

Rahul has been one of the most consistent batters in the IPL since 2018. The right-handed opener led Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the last two seasons, but he wanted a change and was subsequently released by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2022 auction.

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