IPL news

IPL franchises work on player-release lists

Amol Karhadkar and Nagraj Gollapudi

October 31, 2012

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Harbhajan Singh had plenty to ponder about after Mumbai Indians' defeat, Lions v Mumbai Indians, Group B, Champions League Twenty20, Johannesburg, October 14, 2012
If Harbhajan Singh is released, Mumbai Indians will have to appoint a new captain © AFP
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The IPL franchises are set to release several high-profile players ahead of the 2013 season, to meet the October 31 deadline for finalising the players they would like to retain ahead of the trading window and player auction. Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh and Kings XI Punjab's Stuart Broad could be on that list. Johan Botha, the South African offspinner who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for $950,000 in 2011, was one of the big names released.

The trading window, when the names of the released players will have to be made public opens on November 19, but they can only be bought during the auction in 2013.

Harbhajan had led Mumbai Indians during the 2012 IPL and two Champions League Twenty20 editions - including their victorious campaign in 2011 - and though the franchise officially denied the news, a source told ESPNcricinfo that Harbhajan could be "released first and then bid for during the player auction".

Apart from Botha, Royals also let go of former England captain Paul Collingwood ($250,000), Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal ($50,000) and the young Australian fast bowler Alister McDermott, who had joined the franchise as a replacement player last season. In all, the Royals released 15 names and the strength of their present squad is 16.

According to the franchise, a big reason for Botha's release was that he did not feature consistently in the fifth IPL. "We had to rationalise the costs," a Royals official said. "A lot is going to change after the 2013 season so we are gearing up for that and are having a re-look at the structure and the composition of the team."

Royals decided to retain two other replacement players they had recruited last season: West Indies leg spinner Sameul Badree and England batsman Owais Shah.

England's Twenty20 captain, Broad, has not yet played an IPL game and that wait could be extended. Broad was bought by Kings XI ahead of IPL 2011 but missed both subsequent seasons. A franchise official said the decision to offload Broad was primarily because he would be on England duty for most of IPL 2013.

Besides Broad, Kings XI released six more cricketers, including Abhishek Nayar and Ramesh Powar. Nayar, who was bought for $800,000 at the 2011 auction, was considered "overpriced". Australia's Nathan Rimmington and James Faulkner and the Himachal Pradesh duo of Paras Dogra and Vikramjeet Malik were also let go by Kings XI.

Kings XI will now have nine slots vacant ahead of the trading window and player auction, since Abhinav Bali and Shalabh Srivastava were suspended till May 15 due to their alleged misdeeds during a TV sting operation.

Pune Warriors, whose captain in 2011, Sourav Ganguly, announced his decision to withdraw from the next IPL, is set to release five more cricketers, with New Zealand's Jesse Ryder being the most prominent. Though all the names could not be confirmed, it was learnt that Warriors will release three overseas players, including Ryder, and two domestic players, including Sachin Rana.

Kolkata Knight Riders, who had one of the smallest squads with 26 players in 2012, released four players. Jayadev Unadkat, the left-arm seamer from Saurashtra, was left out because the team management thought they were under utilising him. "We have three Indian medium-pacers in L Balaji, Pradeep Sangwan and Shami Ahmed. Last year Jaydev did not get a game and we felt he might get a chance somewhere else," a Knight Riders official said.

Chiraj Jaani (Saurashtra), Iresh Saxena (Bengal) and Sanju Samson (Kerala) were the three other domestic players released by Knight Riders.

Some of the franchises questioned the timing of the October 31 deadline. "If you are asking to me take a decision, this should have happened after the trading window because then the franchises could have had the chance of trading them instead of releasing them," a franchise official said.

Another official from a different franchise agreed with the view, saying he had told his bosses that it was better to wait for the window to open. "I feel I can retain the players now and trade when the window opens. This deadline only offers some franchises whose squad strength is a little too big and an opportunity to have a re-look. I think all the franchises would look at reducing a certain amount (of players) and then look forward to the trading window."

However, all the franchises were not on the same page. "It's a double-edged sword and we would prefer such a deadline before the trading window since it allows to get rid of a player if we just do not want him," an official said. "No franchise can be sure whether they would be able to trade a player whom they wish to, and if they cannot they will have to retain him. This deadline helps us in avoiding it."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by manthanbv on (November 1, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

What abt Daredevils, I hope they release Ross, which is very unlikely or atleast trade him for better player, other than that, DD is all good.

Posted by raaznp on (November 1, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

night riders has many player should be draw up some player and lets them to see another chances,and indian gov has been green Bel pk to come so hope in ipl can see them,,,,

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (November 1, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

To be quite honest with you, as a Pak fan, I want Pak vs Ind matches to be played. I personally believe that none of our Pak players should play in the IPL. If the IPL was losing tv ratings, then why do you want to include Pak players when saying that Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav are better than Junaid Khan and Umar Gul, or Ashwin being better than Ajmal? After excluding Pakistan from the IPL, I disagree with the idea of Pakistan players playing in the IPL.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (November 1, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Considering the fact that Indian Govt. has given green signal to Ind-Pak series so I hope to see Pak Players playing in IPL. It will add more flavour to it. - Indian Fan.

Posted by   on (November 1, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

I dont think CSK dare to drop players like MSD, ashwin, badri. but they should atleast release mukund and Saha.. poor guys they deserve more chances than what they get in csk

Posted by   on (November 1, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Very well said @Konark Shukla...

Posted by himohan007 on (November 1, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@ Meety This show is not running by your relations.

Posted by joseyesu on (November 1, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

CSK is the only team where though would never experiment. Local talents are missing with Underperforming Vijay, Thrashed Ashwin and Occasional Badrinath and Scapegoat Y. Mahesh. Why not retain L. Balaji, D.Karthick leaving Tyagi, Saha. RESTRUCTRE pls

Posted by masoodali150 on (November 1, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Let give chance to Pakistan Players to make this IPL more colorful.

Posted by   on (November 1, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

Harbhajan Singh is most likely to be retained. "these were baseless rumours and bhajji was and will be a part of the side.he has been with MI for the last 5 years and adds a lot of value to the team. there was never a doubt about his fututre with MI." - MI official to TOI. players most likely to be released from the squad are Davy Jacobs Aiden Blizzard Thisara Perrera Richar Levi and maybe gibbs. Plz update us about the players who RCB are set to retain and also RR.

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