Kevin Pietersen, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir and Mitchell Johnson were some of the big names released by their Indian Premier League franchises.
A total of 63 players were released while 140 were retained by the franchises for the 2017 edition.
Former England batsman Pietersen was picked by newcomers Rising Pune Supergiants for R3.5cr at last year’s auction but played only four matches after a calf injury ruled him out.
Retired Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, who hasn’t played any cricket since the three matches for Kings XI Punjab which fetched him R6.5cr, has also been released while South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is out of action due to a shoulder injury, has expectedly been cut by the Gujarat Lions.
Monday also saw the fallout from last year’s splurge on uncapped Indians. Delhi Daredevil’s Pawan Negi (R8.5cr), Rising Pune Super Giants’ Murugan Ashwin (R4.5cr) and Mumbai Indians Nathu Singh (R3.2cr) all got the cut. The then-uncapped Negi, most expensive Indian last year, had disastrous returns of 57 runs and a total of nine overs fetchinh just one wicket while Nathu didn’t even play a match. M Ashwin, however, got seven wickets in 10 matches.
The Pune franchise in fact released 11 players, the most, including India pacer Ishant Sharma, all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, South African Albie Morkel and Australia’s former T20 skipper George Bailey.
Along with Negi, the Delhi franchise released Nathan Coulter-Nile and Imran Tahir while Mumbai Indians released the Kiwi duo of Corey Anderson and Martin Guptill and also let go of Delhi batsman Unmukt Chand.
Kolkata Knight Riders released Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait and Jason Holder.
The two finalists from last year decided not to tinker around with the set up too much. Bangalore retained the powerful core of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle along with Shane Watson, Mitchell Starc, Adam Milne, Shane Watson and Stuart Binny. However, Indians Varun Aaron and Parvez Rasool got the cut along with David Wiese and England all-rounder Chris Jordan.
Champions Sunrisers Hyderabad let go of Karn Sharma, Eoin Morgan and Trent Boult but retained Yuvraj Singh (R7cr) who scored 236 runs in 10 matches.
Kings XI Punjab too decided to gamble on Glenn Maxwell, despite the Australian’s horrid last season which got him 179 runs in 11 matches.