10 Big Stars Released by IPL Teams Ahead of 2021 Auction

Prasenjit Dey
·6-min read

All the eight IPL franchises, on Wednesday, announced their list of players retained and released ahead of the much-awaited auction for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League next month.

There were some real big-budget retentions made by a lot of the teams but we saw some equally big names being released as well. Here we will take a look at 10 such players the franchises decided to let go.

Also Read: Fearlessness & Confidence: IPL’s a Boon For India, Make It Count

Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

Salary: ₹10.75 crore

The Australian all-rounder has had a lean patch in the IPL ever since starring in the 2014 edition for KXIP with a total of 552 runs to his name.

However, despite his poor form in the last 6 IPL seasons, his superb international form for Australia has always seen him get the big bucks at the auctions and it wasn’t any different last season as well, as KXIP bought him for a sum of INR 10.75 crore.

But Maxwell failed to live up to the expectations once again as he mustered just 108 runs in 13 matches, at a meagre average of 15.42. These numbers surely don’t warrant such a big salary and that’s why KXIP may have decided to release him and invest in young new talent instead.

Aaron Finch (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Salary: ₹ 4.40 crore

The Australian limited-overs skipper was brought into the Royal Challengers Bangalore setup last season to solve their opening woes.

The lack of a quality opener had been hurting RCB’s chances in the tournament in the last couple of seasons. So, Finch looked like a good option. But all he could manage in 2020 was 268 runs in 12 innings, at an average of 22.33.

His recorded a strike-rate of just 111.20, which means he failed to get the team off to quick starts as well and was even dropped by the team.

Steve Smith has been released by Rajasthan Royals.
Steve Smith has been released by Rajasthan Royals.

Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals)

Salary: ₹12.5 crore

Smith has been associated with the Royals since the 2018 edition. Although he scored more than 300 runs in each of the previous two IPL editions, his scoring rate wasn’t good enough to make an impact on the team’s overall performance.

Moreover, his leadership came under scrutiny in the last edition as the Royals finished right at the bottom of the points table. He has now been replaced by Sanju Samson as the captain and will be one of the biggest names in the IPL 2021 auction in February.

Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Salary: ₹10 crore

Chris Morris has been one of the best all-rounders in IPL history. RCB acquired his services for a mind-boggling sum of INR 10 crore in the last IPL auction and he did quite well to register 11 wickets in the season at an excellent average and economy rate of 19.09 and 6.63 respectively.

However, injuries have hampered his career in recent times and according to RCB Team Director Mike Hesson, that is the reason why they decided to part ways with the South African.

England batsman Jason Roy pulled out of IPL 2020 in August.
England batsman Jason Roy pulled out of IPL 2020 in August.

Jason Roy (Delhi Capitals)

Salary: ₹1.50 crore

The England international has been there with the Delhi Capitals since the 2018 edition of the IPL but he hasn’t played even a single game in the last two seasons. That is because of the surplus of top-order batsmen in the Capitals squad.

Roy played just five games during his three-year stint with the franchise and amassed 120 runs, which includes a best score of 91*. That is also because he did not play the 2020 season after pulling out in August due to personal reasons.

Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings)

Salary: ₹7.80 crore

Chennai Super Kings shelled out INR 7.8 crore to acquire Jadhav’s services in the IPL 2018 auction. However, he hasn’t delivered on their faith as he has amassed only 248 runs in the last three editions for CSK, at a poor strike-rate of 96.50.

Moreover, he has had his share of trouble with injuries as well and age isn’t on the side of the 35-year-old either. CSK will look to replace him with a younger and a fitter player in the forthcoming auction.

Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)

Salary: ₹2 crore

The Sri Lankan legend has been associated with Mumbai Indians ever since the 2009 season and he is the highest wicket-taker in IPL history as well. He is a veteran player now but he still recorded good numbers in the last two editions, picking up 27 wickets across 24 matches.

In fact, he had been with the franchise as a mentor-cum-player in the last couple of seasons. But he had to pull out of the IPL last year due to his concerns regarding the pandemic and his lack of competitive action since then means the 37-year-old isn't at the peak of his fitness as well. So it is the right decision taken by MI to draw curtains on their association.

Sheldon Cottrell (Kings XI Punjab)

Salary: ₹8.5 crore

The West Indian pacer made his maiden appearance in the IPL last season after an intense auction battle saw KXIP acquiring him for a whopping sum of INR 8.5 crore. However, he couldn't do justice to his price-tag as he picked up just 6 wickets in an equal number of games and proved to be expensive as well. Releasing him seems like a good decision as that will allow KXIP to make better acquisitions in the auction with the purse freed up.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman celebrates a wicket with his former Kings XI Punjab team-mates.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman celebrates a wicket with his former Kings XI Punjab team-mates.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Kings XI Punjab)

Salary: ₹4 crore

The Afghan spinner has been with KXIP since 2018. He played 11 matches for the franchise in that season, picking up 14 wickets at an economy rate of 6.99. But he hasn’t found a lot of gametime since then.

Mujeeb played just five matches in IPL 2019 and that came down to two games in the 2020 edition. His numbers -- 3 wickets at an average of 91.33 -- in the last two editions wasn’t impressive either. So, it seems only a logical decision to let him go.

Harbhajan Singh (Chennai Super Kings)

Salary: ₹2 Cr

Harbhajan Singh decided to skip the IPL 2020 season due to personal reasons but he had been an useful asset for CSK in the 2018 and 2019 IPL seasons.

The veteran Indian spinner flourished as a powerplay weapon for CSK in IPL 2019 and registered 16 wickets at an average of 19.50. Even though he has already turned 40, he still has the skills and guile to compete at this level. However, CSK is looking to build for the future now following their disappointing run in the last edition. So Harbhajan’s release isn’t surprising.

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