The Pune Warriors may have started the IPL V on an impressive note. However, that hasn't prevented the owners from taking desperate measures. In an interesting development, all the reserved domestic players in Pune's squad of 32 have been released without being provided any convincing explanation.
"As far as I know, none of the domestic players who have not been travelling with the squad for away games is checked in at the hotel (in Pune) right now," a Warriors domestic player, who was released from the squad, told HT on Thursday, requesting anonymity. "All that we are being told is 'keep training, you could be called to join the squad any time'." Another player's father confirmed that his son surprisingly reached home on Wednesday. "He obviously has been unhappy about the development, but he hasn't told us why he has returned."
It was learnt the Warriors have been travelling for their three back-to-back away games with only a squad of 18. It does not include eight of their domestic players who were based in Pune since the team's IPL preparations began last month.
While a Sahara insider denied any such development, Pune Warriors director, Abhijit Sarkar, who was in Chennai for Thursday's game against the CSK, did not comment. So, have the players been really given a break? Does the break have anything to do with the lack of practice facilities and coaching staff in Pune? Or is it a move to cut the soaring costs of running an IPL team, similar to the one by RR and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL II? The players are supposed to rejoin on Sunday.