Updated: January 21, 2021 3:23:37 pm
The IPL player retention/release day doesn’t offer the excitement of football’s transfer deadline day. The released players from the IPL franchises go to the auction pool – likely in mid-February for the 2021 edition – and some of them even acquire bigger contracts depending on the auction dynamics. Player retention/release, however, provides an idea about the thought process of the respective IPL franchises.
Samson to lead Royals
Rajasthan Royals have released Steve Smith and appointed Sanju Samson as their new captain, with franchise co-owner Manoj Badale stressing upon “strong local Indian leadership”. Samson, 26, is not new to captaincy. He was Kerala’s captain at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Also, Samson was Royals’ highest run-getter last season with 375 runs from 14 matches. He joined Royals in 2013.
The franchise has also appointed former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara as their director of cricket. As for Smith, he had an average last season by his lofty standards – 311 runs from 14 matches. In total, Royals have released eight players.
End of an era at MI
122 matches, 170 wickets and four titles with Mumbai Indians. Lasith Malinga has been an MI and IPL legend. His departure marks the end of an era. Malinga’s skipped last year’s IPL citing personal reasons. He has been a one-franchise man, but after nine years, the association comes to an end unless MI buy back the 37-year-old at the auction. The defending champions have released seven players, including Australian quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson.
Despite his departure from Dubai before the last year’s IPL owing to personal reasons, Chennai Super Kings has kept faith with Suresh Raina, who will be part of the team’s rebuild under MS Dhoni. Without their most successful batsman last term – 4,527 runs from 164 matches for CSK –the three-time champions looked listless and failed to qualify for Playoffs. CSK, however, have a serious rebuilding job in hand after releasing six players, including middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Shane Watson retired from all forms of cricket after last year’s IPL. Interestingly, CSK have retained 41-year-old leggie Imran Tahir.
KXIP release Maxwell
Kings XI Punjab had picked the Australian allrounder for Rs 10.75 crore at the 2020 IPL auction, but Glenn Maxwell didn’t have a good tournament last term, with just 108 runs from 13 matches and three wickets. But the 32-year-old scored 167 runs in three ODIs against India at a strike-rate of 194-plus followed by a half-century and a strike-rate of 150 in the T20I series. Expect him to once again have a big impact at the upcoming auction. KXIP have let go nine players, including New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham.
RCB release Finch, Umesh
Royal Challengers Bangalore have released nine players, while Parthiv Patel has retired. The franchise had roped in Australia’s white-ball captain, Aaron Finch, for Rs 4.4 crore at the 2020 auction. Finch scored 268 runs in 12 matches in the last year’s IPL but his strike-rate was below par, 111.20. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, too, has been released after he played just two matches last term. RCB have let go Chris Morris and Moeen Ali as well. Delhi Capitals traded all-rounders Harshal Patel and Daniel Sams to RCB.
Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained their core.
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