New Delhi: Though the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season is likely to undergo a major change with reports suggesting that all of the players will be sent back to the pool, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohil, however, is adamant that each franchise must be able to retain a minimum number of players next season. (IPL 2017 - Full Coverage | Schedule)
While reports suggested that the franchises set for a complete revamp and would be required to pick players right from the scratch to build teams, Kohli's statement suggests that there might still be some hope for teams to retain a small number of players.
After leading RCB with his 45-ball 58 to a victory over Delhi Daredevils in an inconsequential match on Sunday, Kohli termed the season as forgettable and that his side are looking to put this performance behind them and start afresh next season.
“It has been a season to forget and reflect on. We have to start fresh as a franchise. Maybe a blessing in disguise. Depends on how many players we can retain. But we do have guys who we have identified. Some guys who have showed right kind of attitude and the mindset to go out there and perform under pressure situations,” Kohli said.
While AB de Villiers was a mainstay since recovering from back injury, Shane Watson and Chris Gayle have been more than disappointing this season. Nevertheless, the injuries to opener KL Rahul and young star Sarfaraz Khan also left the team wounded.
As uncertainty over the exact ruling of the IPL 2018 season still looms, it remains to be seen which exact players will RCB retain (provided franchises are allowed to). Else, despite the form Kohli had been this season, teams are likely to go all in for the Indian captain in pursuit of signing him as their most important player in the new era of the league.