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IPL 2023: 5 surprising releases ahead of the auction

Dwayne Bravo (Photo: Twitter)

The IPL auction 2023 is scheduled to be held on December 23 in Kochi. Ahead of the much-anticipated event, franchises had to submit their retention list by November 15. All the teams have made their move and named the players who will be in their scheme of things going forward. 

Franchises such as Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Kolkata Knight Riders have made wholesale changes to their squads by releasing more than ten players each ahead of the forthcoming auction whereas other teams have kept the majority of their players intact. Many of the releases that the franchises made were on expected lines but there were a few of them were surprising.

Here are the surprising releases ahead of the auction:

5. Daryl Mitchell 

Daryl Mitchell has been a proven performer for New Zealand across formats. Talking about the T20Is, the 31-year-old has featured in 39 matches and scored 766 runs at a strike rate of 139.52. Also, he is quite handy with the ball and has bagged seven wickets for the Blackcaps.

Rajasthan Royals roped in the Hamilton-born at the 2022 mega auction to add depth to the side. Though Mitchell could not only score 33 runs in two games he played last season, the release of the seam-bowling all-rounder was not on the cards beforehand.

Mitchell has been in a rich vein of form this calendar year, having amassed 374 runs in 14 T20Is at a phenomenal strike rate of 144.96. Moreover, he gives versatility to any side with his ability to bat both at the top and the middle order. With the Kiwi all-rounder only costing INR 75 lakhs, Sanju Samson & Co. could have easily retained him for the upcoming season but not to be.

4. Jason Holder

Jason Holder is one of the top-drawer all-rounders going around in world cricket at the moment. The 31-year-old has featured in 200 matches in the shortest format and picked 197 wickets at an economy of 7.86. On the batting front, he has scored 1758 runs at a strike rate of 126.38.

Lucknow Super Giants went hammer and tongs to sign Holder at the last mega auction and eventually grabbed him for 8.75 crore. The ace all-rounder played 12 games for his new franchise and took 14 wickets at an economy of 9.42. Also, he scored 58 runs at a strike rate of 131.82.

Though Holder was not able to perform as per his lofty standards, he did a pretty decent job with both bat and ball. Thus, it was quite a surprise when LSG decided not to retain him for the upcoming season. Moreover, his ability to bowl at any phase of the game and played crucial cameos lower down the order makes him an asset to any side. Therefore, KL Rahul & Co. could have stuck with him going forward.

3. Mayank Agarwal

Punjab Kings retained Mayank Agarwal for the season 15th edition of the Indian Premier League and appointed him the skipper of the side. PBKS had a power-packed side but the 31-year-old was not able to lead his troops to playoffs as Punjab could win seven wins in 14 games.

Mayank’s batting form also took a hit and the elegant batter could only score just 196 runs in 13 games at a strike rate of 122.50. It did appear that the captaincy has taken a toll on him. The Punjab franchise in a bid to make amends for the upcoming season decided to hand over the leadership duties to Shikhar Dhawan. 

However, it was quite a shock when PBKS decided to release the ace batter, who was their number one retention for the previous season. Mayank has been a prolific run-getter in the history of the lucrative T20 tournament and has amassed 2327 runs in 113 games at a strike rate of 134.28. Thus, it was startling to see the Punjab franchise parting ways with him.

2. Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo has been a giant of a player in the shortest format of the game. He has featured in 556 T20 games and picked an insane tally of 614 wickets at an economy of 8.23. Also, the 39-year-old has scored 6894 runs at a strike rate of 126.26.  

The T20 legend has been part of the IPL since its very inception in 2008 and has made the lucrative T20 tournament his own. Bravo has bagged 183 wickets in 161 games and also smashed 1560 runs in the T20 extravaganza.

The West Indies all-rounder has been associated with Chennai Super Kings since 2011, barring the season 2016 and 2017 when the Chennai franchise was banned from IPL. Bravo has been an integral member of the team and has won CSK numerous matches, especially with the ball. He has been the go-to man for skipper MS Dhoni in the death overs and has delivered time and time again. 

Given how big CSK is on player loyalty, it was a bombshell when the four-time IPL champions released the Bravo ahead of IPL 2023.  Moreover, the veteran all-rounder was sensational in the previous season too and bagged 16 scalps in 10 games at an economy of 8.71. Thus, it is a bitter pill to swallow that the West Indies cricketer might not feature for the Chennai franchise going forward.

1. Kane Williamson 

Kane Williamson has been part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise from the time he made his IPL debut way back in 2015. The ace batter has been a run-bank for the Hyderabad franchise and accumulated 2101 runs in 76 games at a strike rate of 126.03.

After moving past David Warner, Hyderabad appointed Williamson as their full-time captain for the 2022 season of the cash-rich league. However, the veteran cricketer failed to lead his side to the knockout round and SRH ended up with just six wins in 14 games. Moreover, the Tauranga-born had a mediocre campaign with the bat as he could score 216 runs in 13 matches at a poor strike rate of 93.51.

The Hyderabad franchise gave the fans a real shocker when they decided to move past Williamson ahead of the IPL 2023 auction. It was just a couple of months back after the think tank decided to build a team around him and one poor season prompted the team management to release him.

Williamson is someone who can bring out the best in the players and has proved his captaincy mettle on the international stage and also in the IPL. Moreover, he has shown his batting prowess for SRH on many occasions. Thus, the team management’s decision to release him came as a thunderbolt. 

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