The cricket fans are eagerly waiting for the mega-auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, which is scheduled to take place next month. Prior to the bidding process, the two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – have been asked to submit their three draft picks in the combination of two domestic players and a maximum of one foreign player by January 22.

Although there hasn’t been an official confirmation, but a report in ESPNcricinfo claims that the Lucknow franchise has picked their three players in the form of Indian star KL Rahul, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and rookie Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

The report states that the Lucknow franchise will enter the February players’ auction with a purse of INR 60 crore. Rahul, who will lead Team India in the ODI series in South Africa, was bought for INR 15 crore, while Stoinis and Bishnoi were roped in for INR 11 crore and INR 4 crore, respectively.

Notably, Rahul was the first acquisition made by the Lucknow team, which was bought for INR 7090 crore last October by the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group. It is learnt that the Karnataka stalwart will be leading the side in the upcoming season.

Rahul is one of the most consistent batters in the IPL. He last represented Punjab Kings (PBKS), where he was the captain for two consecutive seasons. The 28-year-old has earlier plied his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2013 before moving to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2014. He was then traded back to RCB in 2016 and played two seasons there. In 2018, the Punjab franchise (then Kings XI Punjab) roped in Rahul for INR 18 crore.

Similarly, Stoinis will be joining his fourth team in the form of Lucknow. He had started in 2015 with Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), where he returned in 2020 after being bought for INR 4.8 crore. In between, the Aussie star had also represented Punjab and Challengers.

When it comes to Bishnoi, he caught everyone’s attention with his impressive show during the 2020 Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, where he finished as the leading wicket-taker. Several franchises showed keen interest in him, including Punjab, who bagged him for INR 2 crore in 2020 auctions. The quality leg-spinner played another season with the Mohali-based franchise before they released him.

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