Sanju Samson (Extreme Left) is the new captain of Rajasthan Royals while Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith have been released. (IPL)
Sanju Samson (Extreme Left) is the new captain of Rajasthan Royals while Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith have been released. (IPL)

IPL 2021 Players Retention: Samson appointed RR captain; Smith, Maxwell and Malinga among big names released

  • A few big names were released from their respective franchises, including Steve Smith, who has been replaced by Sanju Samson as the new captain of Rajasthan Royals.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 07:31 PM IST

Rajasthan Royals, the inaugural winners of the Indian Premier League, have released Steve Smith ahead of the 2021 edition, with Sanju Samson appointed new captain of the franchise. The announcement was made on Wednesday where all eight franchises declared the list of retained players, a month before the mini-IPL 2021 players' auction.

Also Read | IPL 2021 Players Retention Highlights

Smith parts ways with Royals after an average season in 2020, where the batsman scored 311 runs as under him, the team finished at the bottom of the table with 12 points from 14 matches. Samson has spent a major chunk of IPL career with the Royals, first from 2013 to 2015 before re-joining ahead of the 2018 edition. He was in fine nick in 2020, scoring 375 runs from 14 matches with three half-centuries.

The other big releases include that of dynamic batsman Glenn Maxwell and veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who were let go by their respective franchises Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. Maxwell, who joined Kings XI Punjab in 2014, was dropped after spending five seasons, on the back of poor form in the 2020 edition, which saw him score only 108 runs from 13 games, whereas Malinga withdrew of the last edition due to personal reasons.

KXIP have targeted an overhaul leaving out the likes with the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hardus Viljoen, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karun Nair and more.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who made it to the Playoff last season, have parted ways with 10 players, including Aaron Finch, whom they acquired during the last auction for 4.4 crore. The Australia opening batsman scored 268 runs from 12 games for RCB, and joins Chris Morris, Umesh Yadav, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Isuru Udana, Pawan Negi, Parthiv Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann to end their association with the franchise.

Chennai Super Kings, for whom 2020 was the worst edition in their IPL history have decided to let go six players, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Monu Singh and Shane Watson – who had announced his retirement from all forms shortly after the 2020 IPL last year. Suresh Raina, whose future with CSK was unknown, is set to remain with the three-time IPL champions.

Four-time Mumbai Indians, on expected lines, did not make a bunch of changes, although the decision to drop James Pattinson was a bit surprising. Pattison was among seven players left out along with Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai and Digvijay Deshmukh.

Similarly, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who reached the playoffs last year, have also released only a handful of players, leaving out Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Sandeep Sharma, Prithvi Raj. The Kolkata Knight Riders have let go Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Naik, Manimaran Siddharth and Tom Banton.

As for Delhi Capitals, the franchise has released eight players including two Indian and four overseas players. The Indian duo of Mohit Sharma and Tushar Deshpande, along with the overseas quartet of West Indies' Keemo Paul, Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane, Australia's Alex Carey, and England's Jason Roy have been dropped.

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  • Last month, they made a massive decision of naming Sanju Samson as their captain and parted ways with Steve Smith. And then, on Thursday, they added a new chapter in Indian Premier League history by snapping up South African all-rounder Chris Morris for a whopping sum of 16.25 crores.
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