Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Gautam Gambhir said on Thursday (December 21) he is open to playing for any franchise in the upcoming 11th edition of Indian Premier League.
The Delhi batsman, who has led KKR to two IPL titles, added he has not "surprisingly" spoken about retention yet to the team management even as IPL Governing Council (GC) asking franchisees to name their choices of retention by January 4, 2018.
With suspended franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) set to make comeback, the GC came confirmed retention policy for the upcoming edition.
According to the newly-drafted policy, five players can be retained (through pre-auction retention and Right To Match (RTM) cards during the auction) ahead of the mega-auction, scheduled for January 27 and 28. (For more information on retention, scroll down)
"It is very surprising that I have not spoken to anyone (in KKR management). I don't know about myself [future with KKR]. We'll probably sit and talk after the Ranji final. But yes I am [open to playing for another franchise]," Gambhir said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
He added: "You have achieved so much for KKR. You have done whatever you could. If things do not work out in future, the good part is that you are leaving a franchise on a good note, when it has become a successful franchise. Not when you were struggling.
"As a professional, you want different challenges. There is nothing wrong with it. That'll keep you motivated and hungry."
Will KKR spend big money on Gambhir?
KKR will have to shell out Rs 12.5 crore if they are to retain only Gambhir ahead of the auction. However, the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise can secure the services of their most successful captain and batsman during the auction using RTMs.
Gambhir is unlikely to trigger a bidding war at the auction despite his good form with the bat in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2017/18 campaign.
However, Gambhir seems to have a connection with KKR fans and the India discard has proved his mettle as the captain by making the Kolkata-based team a strong force in the eight-team league.
Also, regardless of his international form, the left-hander has always been a solid performer for KKR. He finished as the second-highest run-scorer last season, behind David Warner, with 498 runs from 16 matches.
IPL retention at a glance
A team can maximum retain five players (combination of pre-auction retention and RTM)
A team can retain a maximum of 3 capped Indian players, 2 foreigners and 2 uncapped Indian players.
- If a team retains three players -- the first player will get Rs 15 crore, second will get Rs 11 crore and the third player will get Rs 7 crore.
- If a team retains two players -- the first player will get Rs 12.5 crore, second will get Rs 8.5 crore.
- If a team retains only one player, he will get Rs 12.5 crore.