IPL news December 31, 2015

Yuvraj, Mathews, Karthik released ahead of IPL 2016

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Yuvraj's IPL numbers don't inspire awe

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 on Thursday. A total of 101 players were retained, while 61 were let go by the six franchises.

Yuvraj (INR 16 crores) and Mathews (INR 7.5 crores), who played for Delhi Daredevils, and Karthik (INR 10.5 crores), 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 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 bolster the lower-middle order worked against Karthik, who has played for close to a handful of franchises so far.

Among the overseas players Pietersen and Steyn were left out by Sunrisers. Pietersen was bought at his base price of INR 2 crore 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 last year.

Kings XI Punjab released the recently retired Virender Sehwag, and George Bailey, who captained them in 2015.

Sunil Narine, who has been suspended from bowling by the ICC, has been retained by Kolkata Knight Riders. He is still No. 1 in the ICC ODI and T20I rankings for bowlers. But they did not keep KC Cariappa, the mystery spinner who became the highest paid uncapped player from the 2015 auction.

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.