• Saturday, May 18, 2024

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IPL franchise owner, who ‘scolded’ captain after loss, now embraces & praises him

The billionaire businessman was seen embracing the national cricketer at a private dinner and also clapping while standing after the latter took a stunning catch during a match.

Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul (Photo by R.SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images) and the owner of the franchise, Sanjiv Goenka (ANI PHOTO/R RAVEENDRAN)

By: Shubham Ghosh

DAYS after a controversial conversation with KL Rahul, captain of his franchise Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), after a humiliating defeat in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 in Hyderabad earned owner Sanjiv Goenka brickbats from fans, the billionaire businessman chose to bury the episode fast and invited the cricketer to a special dinner on Monday (13), a day before the team played a crucial game against Delhi Capitals in Delhi.

Speculation was rife over Rahul’s future at the LSG after he was reportedly reprimanded publicly by Goenka after an unreal defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad who overhauled Lucknow’s total of 165 in less than 10 overs with all wickets to spare. Videos of the incident where Goenka was seen having an animated chat with a composed Rahul went viral. He came under criticism, including from foreign and Indian cricketers — both current and former.

But the 63-year-old billionaire from the eastern Indian city of Kolkata soon came up with a noteworthy gesture towards the skipper and the duo’s happy embrace at the dinner succeeded in quashing much of the rumours of a rift.

Read: Fans not impressed after Lucknow owner ‘pulls up’ captain Rahul after unreal loss

Visuals from the dinner showed Rahul and Goenka greeting each other warmly with smiles on their face.

The fans were also relieved to see the happy turnaround.

Read: IPL 2024 playoff scenario: Who can join KKR?

“Everyone was upset on that devasting loss and so obviously the Owner will. Now all GOOD,” said one fan.

“Picture of the day. Matter solve,” said another. 

LSG assistant coach Lance Klusener also played down rumours of rift ahead of the Delhi match. Speaking at a pre-match press conference, the former South African all-rounder revealed there was no discussion about the ace India batter’s future as the leader of the franchise.

“I don’t see any problem with some robust discussion between two cricket lovers. So for us, I guess it’s just a storm in a teacup. We love a robust discussion. I think that’s how teams get better. So, it’s not a big thing for us,” he told reporters.

The newfound bonhomie between Goenka and Rahul was also witnessed during the match on Tuesday when the latter took a stunning second-attempt catch at extra covers to get rid of Delhi’s Shai Hope off the bowling of spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

Goenka was seen praising the effort in the stands by clapping while standing.

Rahul was not keeping wickets in the match, unlike in previous matches, and the responsibility went to Quinton de Kock.

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