Smith, Maxwell, Bhajji launched forward of subsequent month’s IPL auctions

New Delhi, January 20

Sanju Samson replaced Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain after the Australian batsman and some other under-performing stars were released by their respective IPL franchises even as Chennai Super Kings retained veteran Suresh Raina for the upcoming 14th edition of the league.

Samson was appointed to the top job after RR decided against renewing former skipper Steve Smith’s contract. Smith’s contract ended in October 2020.

Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch were also released by Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore, respectively. Also released by KXIP were West Indies’ Sheldon Cottrell, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham.

CSK’s Harbhajan Singh and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga were among the other big names to be released ahead of next month’s auction. Harbhajan was joined by the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay who were also let go by CSK.

Delhi Capitals decided to enter the next edition without Jason Roy, Alex Carey and Mohit Sharma.

After today, Kings XI Punjab’s total purse increased from Rs 16.5 crore to Rs 53.2 crore.

Meanwhile, Malinga today announced retirement from franchise cricket. Malinga is the highest-wicket taker in the IPL history. Malinga has already retired from Test and ODI cricket but he is yet to call it quits from T20 Internationals. — PTI

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