Hardik Pandya likely to lead Ahmedabad franchise

Ahmedabad: Former Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to captain the new franchise from Ahmedabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
Last year, Pandya was not retained by the Rohit Sharma-led MI ahead of the mega auction.
As per reports, Pandya, who hails from Baroda in Gujarat, will now be the captain of the Ahmedabad franchise, owned by CVC Capital. The official confirmation from the franchise is awaited.
Meanwhile, there are also reports coming in that former Indian seamer Ashish Nehra is likely to come on board as the head coach of the Ahmedabad franchise. Nehra, who retired from international cricket in 2017, had previously worked with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as their assistant coach.
The Ahmedabad franchise is also looking to sign Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan and former Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan.
CVC was one of two companies to have won bids to own the two new franchises that will play in the IPL from next season.
There was a delay in CVC getting the Letter of Intent from the BCCI as the company had come under the scanner over its alleged ties to betting companies after it won the Ahmedabad franchise in the auction that was held in Dubai in October last year.
The new teams have been given time until the end of the month by the BCCI to pick three players of their choice before the auction.
Meanwhile, following a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in India yet again, there are several reports coming in that the Indian Premier League 2022, scheduled to take place in April, might move out of the country once again.
Meanwhile, a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official on Sunday said that the board is prioritising holding the tournament in India but the decision will be dependent on what the state governments decide.
As per a Sports Tak report, the board is monitoring the Covid-19 situation closely and no decision has been taken as of now with regards to venues for the tournament.
BCCI is exploring all options which include overseas IPL as well. But the focus is to host the IPL in India for sure. As of now the priority is the auction, and the board will soon take a call, it said.
The 2020 edition was entirely held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the 2021 IPL was initially scheduled to be held in India behind closed doors, the league had to be postponed halfway through due to a rising number of cases within the bio-bubbles amidst the deadly second wave of the virus in the country.
It was then resumed and completed later in the year in the UAE.
Recently, the Indian cricket board recently postponed all upcoming domestic tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy, due to the pandemic.

NT Bureau