Dubai: Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, who failed to make a turnaround in IPL 2019 and finished as wooden spooners, is all set to go for a major overhaul of the squad next season.
They have released the maximum number of players (12) while Sunrisers Hyderabad, who made the play-offs but finished fourth, reflected the stability in the set-up as they have released the least number of players (five) from their squad.
As the deadline for eight franchises for extension of players’ contracts ended on Friday, the IPL released the full list of 127 players, including 35 overseas cricketers, who were retained by the respective teams.
The VIVO IPL 2020 Player Auction will take place in Kolkata on December 19.
It’s been a rather frustrating experience for the owners of Bangalore franchise, who have now failed to make the play-offs for last three season and have decided to re-assess their recruitment of overseas professionals.
Of the 12 players released by them, seven are overseas professionals and include some surprising names like all-rounders Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, fast bowler Tim Southee, batsman Shimron Hetmyer and the veteran speedster Dale Steyn. AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali are the only two foreign professionals retained by them.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals — whose fortunes showed a big turnaround in the last season when they finished third — have been the biggest gainers in the pre-auction trade-offs in Ravichandran Ashwin from Kings XI Punjab and Ajinkya Rahane from Rajasthan Royals. They will certainly add muscle and experience to a predominantly young squad — which comprise three promising Indian batsmen of this generation in Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw.
“At Delhi Capitals, we have always believed that the core of the team has to include Indian players. The last few years we have had a lot of youngsters who have added a lot of exuberance, and last year we were successful in bringing in some experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma. This year, also we have added two highly experienced and seasoned performers in R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane. Both are match-winners, and have years of experience at this level,” said Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra.
The exit of Rahane, a true blue Royal who has played 100 matches for the Jaipur-based franchise, comes as a shocker but the world of IPL is not immune to such moves. “Ajinkya has been that true Royal who has always given his best for the team and stands strongly for the Royals philosophy, ‘never give up’. A classy player who has given the Royals fans some great memories to cherish over the years. On behalf of the Royals family, of which Jinks continues to be an integral member, I wish him good luck for a new beginning,” said Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket, Rajasthan Royals.
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab will have the highest salary cap (Rs427 million), going into the auction next month followed by Kolkata Knight Riders (Rs356 million). The Shahrukh Khan-led franchise, which has released two of their loyal soldiers in veteran Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn and has revamped their support staff, is expected to turn a new leaf in the auction as well.
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