With the Indian T20 League mini-auction date coming closer, franchises have almost finalized the list of the players they’ve retained ahead of the mega event. Amid all the player trades happening between franchises, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh, has shared crucial advice for the two-time Indian T20 League champions Kolkata franchise. Harbhajan has asked the franchise to retain the star all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer ahead of the mini-auction despite his lacklustre performance in the last season.
After having a breakthrough season in the Indian T20 League 2021, Indian all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer had a forgettable season last year as he failed to fire with the bat. Venkatesh was retained by Kolkata for a whopping sum of INR 8 crore in the build-up to the mega auction last season. Former Kolkata star Harbhajan feels the Kolkata heavyweights should not part ways with the rising star after a forgettable season.
“They shouldn’t do an overall release. You should release him and get him back at a lesser price if possible because the player is destructive. We saw a short trailer in the seven or eight matches he played,” Harbhajan shared his views during a discussion on the Star Sports show – Game Plan. Talking about his stint with the Kolkata Franchise, Harbhajan said that the think tank of the franchise used to make sure that Venkatesh gets one or two overs during crunch encounters.
“He played amazingly well and he played for India also based on those seven or eight matches. He also bowls along with that. I was surprised they didn’t get him to bowl last year (Indian T20 League 2022). When we were in Dubai along with him, we made sure that he bowls one or two overs when the match used to get stuck,” Harbhajan added. Venkatesh amassed 182 runs in 12 matches for the Kolkata franchise last season.
The Kolkata franchise led by Shreyas Iyer had a forgetful season in the Indian T20 League 2022. They failed to qualify for the playoffs and were seventh on the points table.
Meanwhile, the mini-auction for Indian T20 League 2023 is all set to take place on 23rd December at Kochi.