The franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) were given till January 21 (2021) to finalise the players whom they want to retain and also release. There has been some movement on that front with fates of many players – Indian and overseas – already having been sealed. Here's a look at some of the activities so far:
Chennai Super Kings (Purse remaining: INR 22.9 Crore)
The big news thus far is that of Suresh Raina being retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) despite the fact that he left abruptly in the previous season and as a result, missed all the games for the franchise, according to ESPNcricinfo. After a long lay-off, Raina took part in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Uttar Pradesh, in which he started off with a half-century. Raina is CSK’s leading run-getter and has played pivotal roles in them winning three titles.
“He is one of our best batsmen in the last ten years. He had to miss out last year but he is back now and we are happy with him,” a franchise official said.
The trio of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay have been released from the CSK squad. Chawla was the most expensive buy in the IPL 2020 auction, fetching INR 6.75 crore, but managed just six wickets at an economy of 9.09 in the tournament. Jadhav scored just 62 runs from five innings, while Vijay made a poor 32 runs from three outings. Monu Kumar, who bowled just a couple of overs last season has also been released. Also, Shane Watson will not be a part of the squad as he decided to retire from all forms of the game at the end of IPL 2020.
Harbhajan Singh’s time with the franchise too seems to have come to an end. The offspinner took to Twitter and wrote, “As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best..”
Delhi Capitals (Purse remaining: INR 12.8 crore)
One of Delhi Capitals’ star performers Marcus Stoinis has been retained by the franchise. He scored 352 runs at 25.14 and with the ball he picked up 13 wickets at an economy rate of 9.53, to help DC make it to their first-ever IPL final. DC are set to part ways with Jason Roy, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tushar Deshpande and Mohit Sharma. Roy pulled out of the previous season due to injury, Lamichhane did not feature in a single game and Mohit picked up a solitary wicket from his only appearance in IPL 2020. Alex Carey, who played just three matches last season too has been released, along with West Indies allrounder Keemo Paul.
Hours after retaining Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel, the duo were traded to RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Purse remaining: INR 35.7 Crore)
RCB will be without the services of South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, who has opted out of the tournament to take some time off. He made this announcement on Twitter earlier this month.
RCB have retained 12 players. While the fact that they have retained Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal comes as little surprise, that have shown faith in youngsters like Pawan Deshpande and Shahbaz Ahmed as well. Other than that, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Josh Philippe, Kane Richardson, Washington Sundar, Devdutt Padikkal and Mohammed Siraj too will feature in the next edition of the IPL. Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel have been traded into the side from DC. Harshal had earlier spent five years from 2012 to 2017 with RCB.
Consequently, Gurkeerat Singh, Moeen Ali, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Isuru Udana, Parthiv Patel, Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav will not be a part of the franchise in IPL 2021.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Purse remaining: INR 10.85 Crore)
England batsman Tom Banton has been released by KKR. He was bought by the franchise in the IPL 2020 auction for INR 1 crore. He played just two matches for KKR last season and also pulled out of the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) citing bubble fatigue.
KKR have also released offspinner Chris Green from their squad. The Australian played just one game for KKR last season. Also, Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Naik, and left-arm spinner M Siddharth have been put back into the market.
Rajasthan Royals (Purse remaining: INR 34.85 Crore)
World's leading batsman Steven Smith has been released by Rajasthan Royals. Sanju Samson, as a result, has been named RR captain, while Kumar Sangakkara joins the franchise as director of cricket.
Under Smith's leadership, RR finished at the bottom of the IPL 2020 table, having secured 12 points from 14 matches. Smith scored 311 runs at a strike-rate of 131.22 in IPL 2020, which included three fifties from 14 innings.
Kings XI Punjab (Purse remaining: INR 53.2 Crore)
The duo of Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell, who had a forgettable IPL 2020 have been shown the door by KXIP. Along with them, K Gowtham, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jimmy Neesham, Hardus Viljoen and Karun Nair have been released by the franchise.
Mumbai Indians (Purse remaining: INR 15.35 Crore)
A huge chunk of overseas players have been released by Mumbai Indians, including IPL's leading wicket-taker Lasith Malinga.
Joining him are Mitchell McCleneghan, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Among the Indian contingent uncapped legspinner Prince Balwant Rai and fast bowler Digvijay Deshmukh have also been shown the door.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Purse remaining INR 10.75 Crore)
The 2016 IPL champions have released only five players - Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Sanjay Yadav, B Sandeep and Yarra Prithvi Raj.