West Indies Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy, Yuvraj Singh, Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Karthik, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and Kevin Pietersen are some of the big names released by their IPL franchises as the deadline for the first trading window closed today. A total of 101 players were retained, while 61 were let go by the six franchises.
Sammy previously played for the Hyderabad Sunrisers last year before being drafted by the Royal Challengers Bangalore this year. He had limited success with both franchises.
But while Sammy has been dumped, his West Indian teammate Sunil Narine has been retained by the Kolkata Knight Riders despite enduring a demoralizing IPL season earlier in the year when he was twice called by umpires for throwing.
Narine returned to West Indies duties on the recent tour of Sri Lanka but was once again cited for throwing. He has been banned by the ICCC from bowling in international cricket.
Yuvraj and Mathews who played for Delhi Daredevils, and Karthik who was with Royal Challengers Bangalore, were the three most expensive buys at the IPL auction last year. All of them were dropped going into the new season.
Yuvraj, who recently earned a recall into the Indian Twenty20 squad for the three-match series in Australia after a hiatus of close to two years, was anything but the catalyst Dardevils hoped for as they finished seventh in 2015. He scored 248 runs from 13 innings and averaged below 20, and bowled only nine overs in the tournament as well. Mathews, too, proved a failure, tallying a mere 144 runs in 11 matches in which he bagged just seven wickets at an economy rate of 8.20.
Karthik lasted just one season at Royal Challengers after he managed a paltry 141 runs at an average of 12.81 in 11 innings. His inability to create an impact and bolster the lower middle order proved to be detrimental for Karthik, who has played for close to a handful of franchises in the tournament.
Among the overseas players Pietersen and Dale Steyn were left out by Sunrisers. Pietersen was bought by Sunrisers at his base price but a shoulder injury kept the former England batsman out of the tournament. Aaron Finch, the top-ranked batsman in T20Is, was also released. He had played only three matches Mumbai Indians before he hurt his hamstring and was ruled out of the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab released the recently retired Virender Sehwag, and George Bailey, who captained them in 2015. KC Cariappa, the mystery spinner who became the highest paid uncapped player from the 2015 auction, did not find a place among the players retained by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Maharashtra and India batsman Kedar Jadhav was the solitary trade after Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him from Delhi Daredevils for an undisclosed amount.
The six franchises along with two new teams – Pune and Rajkot – will take part in the player auction, scheduled for February 6 in Bangalore. The second trading window will be open for the eight teams after the auction and will last till the beginning of the IPL. The ninth season of the IPL would be played between April 9 and May 23. (cricinfo)