Indian Premier League (IPL) club Kings XI Punjab are expected to retain West Indian star batsman Chris Gayle but have released his compatriot left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell ahead of the new season.
The 31-year-old pace bowler was bought for a sizeable INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) during the IPL 2020 auction but failed to justify the price tag. In six matches, Cottrell bowled 20 overs, claiming 6 wickets for 176 runs at an expensive economy rate of 8.80. Unfortunately, perhaps the player’s biggest letdown came after being on the wrong side of a thrashing from Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia, who smashed five sixes off one of his overs during a record run chase that Punjab initially looked certain to win.
Gayle, on the other hand, was sensational. Despite starting the season on the sidelines, the big left-hander became the driving force behind the team’s push for a playoff spot, although it ended with the team narrowly missing out on 6th spot. The West Indian had been left on the bench for the first seven games of the season. He was not picked for the first five, and food poisoning ruled him out for the next two. He ended with 288 runs at an average of 44.14 and a high score of 99.
India batsman Karun Nair and Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had a mediocre IPL season but had a splendid series against India, have also been cut.
Meanwhile West Indies Test captain Jason Holder has been retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Holder was drafted as an injury replacement for Mitchell Marsh during the last tournament, and the Sunrisers have decided now to keep both. However, West Indies allrounder Fabian Allen is not so lucky. The Sunrisers franchise has cut the dynamic Jamaican even though he did not play a single IPL match last year.
Guyanese all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford and compatriot Keemo Paul have also been let go by their respective franchises, Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals. Capitals have however retained the services of batsman Shimron Hetmyer. Predictably, offspinner Sunil Narine and allrounder Andre Russell will be returning to Kolkata Knight Riders, while Kieron Pollard will once more be on Mumbai Indians’ books. (SportsMax/WG)