As the deadline approaches for retention and release of players for 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), franchises have swung into action to take decisive decisions. Among top foreign players who were axed on January 20 included Australians Steve Smith, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, among others.
The analysts were caught by surprise after the top brass of the Rajasthan Royals decided to release Smith, who was captaining the side in the previous season.
Maxwell - one of the star-players of Kings' XI Punjab was dropped, and the apparent reason appears to be his flop performance in the 2020 edition of the league.
In another major release, the Mumbai Indians decided to finally let go Lasith Malinga, who has been associated with the team since 2008.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore offloaded its star line-up, by releasing Chris Morris, Moeen Ali and Aaron Finch. The franchise finalised the decision to retain the core Indian group, with Virat Kohli confirmed as the captain.
Reports citing RR officials confirmed that the team would be captained by Sanju Samson in the next edition of the tournament.
Among the eight franchises, the major rejigs were witnessed in the RCB and the CSK. The latter, apart from bidding adieu to Harbhajan Singh, also released Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay and Piyush Chawla. Shane Watson, who was also a key member of the team, had announced his retirement at the end of IPL 2020.
The RCB, which released Moeen, Morris and Finch among the overseas players, has also decided to offload Gurkeerat Singh, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Isuru Udana, Parthiv Patel, Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav.
The spree of releases has left the RCB with a remaining purse of nearly Rs 35.6 crore. The CSK has also freed up its resources to make additional purchases worth Rs 22.9 crore. The players' auction for IPL 2021 is expected to begin in second week of February.
Full list of team-wise remaining purses:
Kings XI Punjab – Rs 53.2 crore, Rajasthan Royals – Rs 34.85 crore, Chennai Super Kings – Rs 22.9 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad – Rs 10.75 crore, Delhi Capitals – Rs 9 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders – Rs 10.85 crore, Royal Challengers Bangalore – Rs 35.7 crore and Mumbai Indians – Rs 15.35 crore.
Below is the full list of team-wise retentions and releases so far. The data may marginally alter on January 21 - when the deadline to decide on retentions and releases expires.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Players released: M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Chris Green, Tom Banton.
Players retained: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton, Varun Chakravarthy.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Players released: Chris Morris, Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Isuru Udana, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Mann, Parthiv Patel.
Players retained: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Philippe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahamad, Adam Zampa.
Players released: Sanjay Yadav, B Sandeep, Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Yarra Prithviraj.
Players retained: David Warner (c), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Mitchell Marsh, Priyam Garg, Virat Singh.
Players released: Alex Carey, Keemo Paul, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tushar Deshpande, Mohit Sharma.
Players retained: Shreyas Iyer (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Daniels Sams, Anrich Nortje.
Players released: Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, Digivijay Deshmukh.
Players retained: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare (WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan.
Kings XI Punjab
Players released: Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh.
Players retained: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel.
Players released: Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Akash Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Anirudha Joshi, Shashank Singh.
Players retained: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Robin Uthappa.
Chennai Super Kings
Players released: Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Monu Singh, Shane Watson.
Players retained: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo, Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur and R Sai Kishore.