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Mumbai release Zaheer, Ojha; Sunrisers let go of 10 players

Zaheer Khan in his follow-through BCCI

Mumbai Indians have released eight players, including the injured Zaheer Khan and sidelined left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, while Sunrisers Hyderabad have got rid of 10 players, including some of their biggest signings of last year, ahead of the IPL auction expected to be held in January 2015.

Zaheer's release was on expected lines since the veteran pace bowler has not been able to recover after breaking down during this year's IPL. Ojha, on the other hand, had struggled to maintain his place in the side. With youngster Shreyas Gopal having impressed in his limited opportunities and seasoned Harbhajan Singh an integral part of the team, Mumbai's restructured team management decided to let go of Ojha.

The biggest surprise among the player releases came from Sunrisers. Among the biggest names released by them were Australia opener Aaron Finch, West Indies allrounder Darren Sammy, India's bowlers Irfan Pathan and Amit Mishra. While Finch and Sammy have been leading Australia and West Indies, respectively, in Twenty20 internationals, Irfan has been recovering from a knee injury he suffered after the 2014 IPL. Mishra's omission is most surprising since he became only the second bowler to cross the 100-wicket mark in IPL during the last edition.

Besides the four key players, Sunrisers also discharged West Indies pace bowler Jason Holder, Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor and domestic players Venugopal Rao, Prasanth Parameswaran, Anirudha Srikanth and Manpreet Juneja.

Mumbai also released most of their benchwarmers from the 2014 season, including Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Dunk, West Indies left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie along with domestic players Jalaj Saxena, CM Gautam, Apoorv Wankhade and Sushant Marathe. Mumbai had an excess of wicketkeepers but with Parthiv Patel having been acquired from Royal Challengers Bangalore during the trading window, Mumbai decided to relieve Gautam, Dunk and Marathe of their duties.

Chennai Super Kings got rid of four players, including the Australian triumvirate of David Hussey, John Hastings and Ben Hilfenhaus. The only domestic player they got off the roster is allrounder Vijay Shankar.