The mega-auction for the upcoming 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just one month away, but the draft picks of the two new franchises – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – haven’t been confirmed yet.

However, as per a report in Sportskeeda, the CVC Capital-owned Ahmedabad team has beaten Lucknow to send a contract to Rashid Khan. The Afghanistan spinner, though, is yet to confirm the developments officially.

Both the RPSG-owned Lucknow franchise and Ahmedabad franchise was keen to sign Rashid in their respective squads for the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. It is also learnt that the Ahmedabad team has reached out to Ashish Nehra, Gary Kirsten, and Vikram Solanki for head coach, mentor, and Director of Cricket cum batting coach roles, respectively.

Failing to sign Rashid would be a huge blow for Lucknow, but they are likely to rope in former Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper KL Rahul to lead the side. They are also in talks with Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada as their backup overseas options.

Similarly, Ahmedabad is likely to give the captain’s responsibility to star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was not retained by Mumbai Indians (MI) for the next season. They have also been trying to acquire the services of another MI star Ishan Kishan as their wicketkeeper-batter.

Notably, the apex Indian board had initially kept Ahmedabad’s Letter of Intent (LoI) on hold because of CVC’s close connection with a betting firm in the UK. However, after Tuesday’s IPL Governing Council (GC) meeting, both parties were given the LOI, which means they can now pick their players and go ahead with the paperwork.

The two new franchises 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.

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