The independent voice of cricket

Indian Premier League 2021

Five notable releases ahead of IPL 2021 Auction

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

The IPL retention on Wednesday saw quite a few players released from their contracts ahead of the IPL 2021 Auction. We take a glance at the most notable ones.

Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)

An IPL legend, Lasith Malinga moves on from franchise cricket with 390 T20 wickets to his name, placing him second behind Dwayne Bravo in the wickets chart. 170 of them came in the Indian Premier League – the most in competition’s history. Absent from the 2020 edition, Malinga was expected to return for another season with the Mumbai Indians, but conveyed his decision to retire from franchise cricket earlier in the month to the franchise. Soon after his name came up in the released players’ list, Mumbai Indians put out a statement revealing Malinga’s franchise retirement. Mumbai did find an able replacement in Trent Boult last season, but they might still be on the lookout for a few fast bowlers in the IPL 2021 Auction.

Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals)

Rajasthan Royals decided to move on from Steve Smith after a fairly long association with the Australia Test stalwart. Smith’s strike-rate and ability to increase the tempo towards the back-end of an innings came under scrutiny in the last two seasons despite him making over 300 runs in both editions. With an overdose of top-order options available at their disposal, Rajasthan chose to release Smith and announced Sanju Samson as their new skipper, thereby making clear that the Right To Match (RTM) card won’t be used on the Australian at the IPL 2021 Auction.

Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Bought for Rs 10 crore at the auction last season, Chris Morris has a reputation for being a hard hitting lower-order batsman and is a much sought after death over specialist in the shortest format. Morris had a good season with RCB too, taking 11 wickets at an average of 19.09 and an impressive economy of 6.63. He came in for special praise from Virat Kohli quite a few times in the 2020 IPL season for his bowling performances. However, injuries and lack of game time since last IPL were cited as reasons by Mike Hesson, the director at RCB, for offloading the South African all-rounder. RCB should ideally seek a like-for-like replacement for Morris at the IPL 2021 Auction as he lent the side good balance.

Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

The swashbuckling Australian all-rounder had yet another disappointing season in the IPL in 2020 and might finally have made his last appearance for Kings XI Punjab. Bought for Rs 10.75 crore in the IPL 2020 auction, Glenn Maxwell was a major flop for the franchise, scoring just 108 runs across 13 games. Notably, he didn’t hit a single six in the edition despite his role as a finisher in the latter half of the innings. With Punjab finding a new star in Nicholas Pooran in the middle order and Chris Gayle also slotting into the No.3 role, Maxwell was deemed surplus to requirements. Would he find a home after the IPL 2021 Auction? Given his listless run in the last six IPL seasons, that seems a bleak prospect at the moment. However, his great run in the BBL 2020/21 and the big reputation as a T20 player tempts one to think otherwise.

Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings)

Arguably the most dissected player in the 2020 edition of the IPL, Kedar Jadhav was given multiple opportunities by Chennai Super Kings to showcase his worth in the side. Jadhav failed spectacularly, scoring runs at a shocking strike-rate of 96.50 in IPL 2020. Bought for Rs 7.80 crore, Jadhav was evidently a baggage for Chennai to carry around after his performances last season. With the MS Dhoni-led outfit finishing seventh in the points table in the 2020 season, quite a few changes were expected. Although they eventually released just six players, including the big one in Shane Watson, who retired from all cricket, Jadhav’s departure was the big news.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99