As expected, no franchise tinkered with the core group, They tried to address a few issues and plug holes based on performances from their players in the previous season. Sunrisers Hyderabad could be the team ushering in major changes. They released their skipper Kane Williamson, whom they had prioritised over Rashid Khan ahead of the mega auction in February this year.
Along with Williamson, they off-loaded West Indies’ captain Nicholas Pooran. Both of them have had a forgettable 2022 in the IPL and are likely to go under the hammer. In Williamson’s absence, SRH might be looking for a captain in the auction. If they look for options within as a stop-gap arrangement, they have Aiden Markram and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the squad. That they have the biggest purse of `42.25 crore will come in handy.
As always eyes were on Mumbai Indians too, especially to see whether they would retain Kieron Pollard, who has had a couple of poor seasons on the trot. Pollard, who has been one of the pillars of the franchise and among the biggest match-winners in the tournament for over a decade, on Tuesday announced that he will be retiring from the IPL with immediate effect. He will now be their batting coach.The franchise have retained England pacer Jofra Archer and would be hoping that he will be available for the upcoming season despite the packed calendar.
It comes as no surprise that the Chennai Super Kings have retained most of their big names, including captain MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. During their last league game this year, the 41-year-old had confirmed that he would be playing in 2023. “Definitely. It's a simple reason: it will be unfair to not play in Chennai and say thank you,” he had said. While Pollard has retired, his fellow IPL stalwart from the Caribbean, Dwayne Bravo, has been released by CSK along with the overseas pace duo of Chris Jordan and Adam Milne.
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said the fact that they will be returning to Chennai had a significant role in determining the retention of players. “It’s a very tough call. The current decision is that we will be able to play in our home ground. We have taken that into account. We know that if there is an opportunity for any of them to come back, they will be back in CSK colours,” he said on the franchise’s site. CSK and Delhi Capitals have the maximum of six overseas slots to be filled.
The other team that has opted for a major reshuffle is Punjab Kings. They have named Shikhar Dhawan as captain and have released Mayank Agarwal. They have also let go of West Indies’ Odeon Smith while retaining Kagiso Rabada, Shahrukh Khan and Jonny Bairstow, who is currently recovering from injury.
Meanwhile, Royal Challengers Bangalore seem content with the squad they have. They have traded Jason Behrendorff and let go of four players. Unlike the past years, they have a settled side, and have opted for consistency and stability this time around, which could augur well for them. Same has been the case with the likes of Delhi, Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants. Kolkata will be missing the services of Pat Cummins, Sam Billings and Alex Hales and could be looking for a wicketkeeper in the auction even though they have traded Rahamanullah Gurbaz from Gujarat.