The Indian Premier League gave a platform for young stars from all over the world to express themselves against the best in the business and make it to their national sides. It also gave players who had bid adieu to international cricket to play matches of the same level and intensity even after international retirement. The IPL also gave platforms for dropped players to make comebacks into the national team.
There have been many internationally retired players who have thrived in the IPL and few who have left their national teams to play T20 cricket.
Let's take a look at the best internationally retired or inactive players from each team.
Selection Criteria: The player must have retired from international cricket or shouldn't be in contention for future selection.
Chennai Super Kings - Shane Watson or DJ Bravo
The Chennai Super Kings have one of the oldest teams in the IPL and naturally possess few of the best internationally retired players. In fact, they have two overseas stars in Shane Watson and DJ Bravo who form the overseas core of the team.
Watson, especially, was outstanding last season and smashed 555 runs last season at a strike-rate greater than 150 and also chipped in with the ball. His T20 form hasn't diluted and he's spent the off-season playing in various T20 leagues all over the world enhancing his reputation as a freelance T20 veteran.
DJ Bravo announced retirement from international cricket late in 2018 meaning that he'll be available for the entire tournament and won't have the fear of an international call-up.
Bravo wasn't at his best last season with the ball and leaked runs at the death but his time in other T20 leagues showed that his death bowling skills aren't done yet. He also played few vital knocks with the bat and remains a crucial part of this CSK side.
Delhi Capitals - Colin Ingram
Colin Ingram was the most expensive buy at INR 6.4 Crore for the Delhi Capitals at the auction ahead of IPL 2019. The Proteas T20 veteran has played in almost all the T20 leagues in the world and is one of the best and most experienced T20 cricketers available in the market. After continuous snubs at the auction, the team finally understood his value and began a bidding war for him which the Capitals eventually won.
Ingram adds stability and provides much-needed experience and overseas firepower to their batting lineup. Though they rule the roost when it comes to Indian batsmen, they needed someone dependable like Ingram in their top order. Though he hasn't formally announced retirement, he hasn't played international cricket since 2013 and is as good as retired to the side.
Amit Mishra last played an international game in 2017 and though he too hasn't announced retirement, his chances of playing for India again seem very slim though he'll still play an integral role with the Capitals.
Kings XI Punjab - Hardus Viljoen
The Kings XI Punjab have brought together a deadly group of youngsters this season and not one player in this team has formally announced their retirement. Their big opener Chris Gayle said that the World Cup will be his last outing in international cricket but he's among the only players in the team to do so.
But there are players who fell out of favor with their national side and have no hopes of recall in their team. Hardus Viljoen is a Proteas pacer who won the Player of the Tournament in the illustrious T10 League with his brilliant bowling and KXIP promptly bought him at the auction. After making his Test debut in January 2016, he has never played for South Africa again and went on a County stint after signing a Kolpak deal playing for Kent and Derbyshire.
He hasn't yet played for his country and is a freelance bowler for all formats. Though he'll largely be used as Andrew Tye's backup, KXIP must give chances to him in case the others fail to perform.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Robin Uthappa or Piyush Chawla
The Kolkata Knight Riders have always had former Indian stars who were no longer in contention for the national spot in their team. Players like Yusuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir have always proved themselves and constantly asked questions as to why they aren't in the national side. To add to that list, Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla have also been very consistent in performance for the Knight Riders.
Uthappa won the Orange Cap in IPL 2014 but as was the due process, he didn't get a national call-up and had to wait another year before the selectors picked for a tour of Zimbabwe in 2015. He hasn't played in international cricket since despite being one of India's brightest in the T20 World Cup 2007. The keeper-batsman has shined for KKR though and will look to continue with that this season.
Piyush Chawla too has been a very economical bowler and has shown his class and experience throughout his journey with KKR. Though he last played for India in 2012, he has formed a great spin partnership with Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine and will look to keep the good stuff going this season too.
Mumbai Indians - Yuvraj Singh
The Mumbai Indians took a few surprising calls at the auction and besides signing Lasith Malinga who we all thought was done as a player, they also signed Yuvraj Singh who everyone thought was going to get snubbed at the auction. But in hindsight, their decision seems to have a solid backup in the fact that Yuvraj is a class player and has been good in the domestic circuit.
Though his hopes of joining the Indian team were significantly crushed when team India captain Virat Kohli stated that the IPL will have no bearing on the selection for the WC squad, Yuvi will go strong this season. He last played an international game for Indian in 2017 and his tough journey fighting cancer is an inspiring one.
He is a player loved by all throughout the nation and though the chances of him getting a national call-up are slim, he'll want to make a statement with strong performances this season.
Rajasthan Royals - Stuart Binny
The Rajasthan Royals don't have many Indian first-team players in their squad and most of them have played for Team Indian in the past. Stuart Binny is one of those players who is remembered for one or two special performances in their career.
Binny, who picked up 6 wickets in a game against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, was once thought as India's solution to the search for an all-rounder but was dropped due to inconsistency and a string of low scores and last played an international game in 2016. He also hasn't been at his belligerent best in the IPL and hasn't done well with the ball either. Nevertheless, RR retained him and how he plays this season will be interesting to watch.
Varun Aaron too was once a premier fast bowler for India but fell out of favor due to injuries and lack of consistency. He is making a strong case for a comeback and can make it to the Indian side on the merit of his great domestic performances.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - AB de Villiers
The entire cricketing world was shocked when Mr. 360 AB de Villiers announced his retirement quite prematurely, especially months before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The trophy has been eluding this superstar and after coming so close to it last time, everyone hoped that he'd be there when the Proteas went on their World Cup campaign but his decision shocked us all.
Nevertheless, he has continued playing T20 cricket and other domestic matches and one can see that his form hasn't dipped one bit. He has been one of the poster boys of the IPL and continues to be so and a lot will be expected from him this season. He has expanded his T20 career to other leagues and played in the PSL, the Mzanzi Super League and also in the BPL. De Villiers is undoubtedly the best internationally retired player from the RCB side.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan is one of the biggest hitters and the best products of the IPL and has played many memorable knocks for both country and teams in the IPL. Pathan is a hard-hitting middle-order batsman and a decent off-spinner. He emerged as a big match-winner in IPL 2008 playing for the Rajasthan Royals under Shane Warne.
He scored the fastest IPL century (off just 37 balls) and this further enhanced his reputation. Pathan was then bought for a huge sum of money by the Kolkata Knight Riders and he remained faithful to the side playing for them until 2017 and scored the bulk of his runs for them.
He also played a few vital knocks for the SRH side though he could've been better on many occasions. He hasn't formally announced retirement but considering that he last played for India in 2012, there isn't really isn't a chance for him to make it back to the national side.