After the Australian batsman and some other under-performing stars were released by their respective IPL franchises, Sanju Samson replaced Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain, even as Chennai Super Kings retained veteran Suresh Raina for the forthcoming IPL-14.
However, the decision to release Smith by Rajasthan Royals was planned after his form and pitch scuffing controversy.
The deadline for sending the lists of retained and released players to the eight franchises for the next edition of the lucrative league ended on Wednesday.
After RR decided against renewing the contract of former skipper Steve Smith, Samson was promoted to the top position.
“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important,” said RR owner Manoj Badal.
The Australians, smarting from a Test series loss to an injury-plagued India, took a hit as Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore released the likes of the explosive Glenn Maxwell and opener, Aaron Finch, too.
West Indies all-rounder Sheldon Cottrell, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham, who recently underwent surgery to treat an injured finger, were also released by KXIP.
Among the other major names to be announced by their respective sides ahead of next month’s auction were CSK’s Harbhajan Singh and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga.
The likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay, who were also let go by the franchise, joined Harbhajan.
Sherfane Rutherford was also released by MI, though without English batsman Jason Roy, wicketkeeper Alex Carey, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and seamer Mohit Sharma, Delhi Capitals agreed to join the next edition.
In the past, Malinga had been a prominent part of MI’s title-winning promotions, but because of personal reasons, he was not there last time.
Inaugural edition champions RR finished last in the 2020 IPL under Smith’s captaincy when the star Australian batsman played all 14 league games, scoring 311 runs at a 131 strike rate, including three half-centuries.
Smith was the only player retained by the Royals for Rs 12.5 crore ahead of the 2018 IPL. He was named captain the same year.
After the team’s disastrous outing in the UAE last year, his influence came under the scanner, however.
As the leader of the team, I am excited about the task ahead of me,”I am excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team,”
“The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I’m so grateful for all the time I’ve spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith!! I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead.” Despite his abrupt departure from the season ahead, the veteran Raina was retained by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK.
It is suspected that the three-time winners agreed to continue with Raina to help the batting order that battled during the last season that was overlooked, resulting in a seventh-place finish and a league-stage elimination for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2008.
From the beginning, the left-handed Raina was an integral component of the Super Kings, emerging as their top scorer while leading them to two IPL titles.
In the 2020 edition, Stoinis made valuable contributions and helped the Capitals reach their first-ever IPL final.
Batting mainly in the middle order, at an average of 25.14 and a strike rate of 148.52, he amassed 352 runs.
With the ball, at an economy of 9.53, he took 13 wickets.
With Rs 15 lakh left, after the last auction, the Super Kings had the smallest purse and this will dramatically boost for the auction next month. Before Wednesday, Kings XI Punjab had the highest, at Rs 16.5 crore.
Rajasthan Royals had(14.75 crores), Sunrisers Hyderabad ( 10.1 crores), Delhi Capitals (9 crores), Kolkata Knight Riders (8.5 crores), Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.4 crores), and Mumbai Indians (1.95 crores) before Wednesday’s publication.