IPL Retention 2018: Gautam Gambhir 'not retained' by KKR is a masterstroke. Here's why!

Knowing that most franchises will not bid aggressively for Gambhir, KKR management may allow him to be up for auction

Indian Premier League Player Retention 2018 takes place on January 4 and as the franchises get ready to present the players they want to retain, the word is that Kolkata Knight Riders’ two-time IPL-winning captain Gautam Gambhir may not be retained. This comes as a huge surprise after the confirmation of Virat Kohli being retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore and MS Dhoni returning to Chennai Super Kings came in. So with every team showing their trust in their most valued players, why is KKR not willing to retain Gambhir?

ALSO READ: IPL 2018: 5 players KKR must retain to maintain a familiar core!

Let’s take a look at the key points of the newly-drafted retention policy:
A team can retain a maximum of three capped Indian players, 2 foreigners and 2 uncapped Indian players.

  • If a team retains three players — the first player will get Rs 15 crores, the second one will get Rs 11 crores and the third player will get Rs 7 crores.
  • If a team retains two players — the first player will get Rs 12.5 crores and the second player will get Rs 8.5 crores. 
  • If a team retains only one player — he will get Rs 12.5 crores.

So why the KKR management does not want to retain Gambhir?
The KKR management — comprising of Venky Mysore, Jay Mehta, Joy Bhattacharya — has made some brilliant moves in auctions to form a winning unit. They previously got in a variety of players in the lineup who provided a fine balance to the side.

ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya feeds his new-found friend in South Africa & we bet it’s the CUTEST thing you will see today

Gambhir has scored a total of 3,035 runs for KKR in the previous seasons. He earns Rs 12.25 crores, which is a humungous amount to shell out for a player who is not playing regular cricket for the national team. So if Gautam Gambhir is the first player to be retained for KKR, they have to pay Rs 15 cr to get him onboard — which is a lot of money for Gambhir who is at the twilight of his career.

A team source was quoted by insidesport.co as saying,

Gautam (Gambhir) has been a key constituent of KKR’s IPL success. Not retaining him is a strategic move. This does not mean KKR is not interested in its most respected team member. We always have an option to bid for him in the auction. We have the privilege of right to match. So it will not be fair to say that he is out of our future plans.

The source also added that Gambhir is aware of the plan.

So why is the KKR management making the move?
In all probability, the management feels it is better to hold onto two foreign players who can go for a bigger money to another team. In that case, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine could be the two foreigners they would want to retain.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018 Auction: Rajneesh Gurbani to Akshay Wadkar, 5 Vidarbha Ranji players who can bag big deals!

In this scenario, KKR may allow Gambhir to be up for auction, knowing that most franchises will not bid aggressively for him. That will allow KKR to get Gambhir onboard for a reasonable price.

With all these just being assumptions, it can’t be certainly predicted what the KKR management nothing will do. Remember the hullaballoo after Sourav Ganguly was not retained, that shows no one is indispensable in a sport. Whatever happens, he stays or does not, the Delhi cricketer will always remain a legend for the gold and purple brigade.