Ravichandran Ashwin is gearing up for a new Indian Premier League (IPL) challenge along with his national duty with Team India. He will not be donning the usual yellow Chennai Super Kings (CSK) jersey in the upcoming two editions of the IPL, as he will be playing for either of the two new franchises — Pune or Rajkot.
The draft auction will take place on 15 December, Tuesday, and Ashwin's fate will be decided then, to which franchise will own currently one of the best spinners in the world.
"In three days' time, Pune or Rajkot will be my new summer destination. I'm looking forward to a new beginning and more challenges. If I don't make it to either of these teams, I will go into the auction. Does not matter who picks me, all I need is new challenges. No stagnating, (sic)" Ashwin posted this message on Twitter on Saturday.
Two new teams have been roped in for two editions of the IPL as CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) are suspended for the next two years. Five players from each team will be put in the players' draft where either of the sides can choose five players each one. The rest of the players will be up for grabs only for the two new franchises. The rule of retaining a minimum of four Indian capped players will be applicable to the two new franchises as well.
As Pune bid the lowest in the team auction, they will have the first go at MS Dhoni, who will be the first name on that draft. Unless Pune have some other plans, there is no reason to give away the opportunity of bringing in the Indian captain. A number of quality players will be going under the hammer again as CSK and RR have been suspended. Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and many more will be up for grabs in the auction.