The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a highly competitive tournament. Perform or perish is the only go-to mantra for players participating in the league. Teams are hell-bent on winning games and qualifying for playoffs. They try almost everything at their disposal to form a winning combination. At times this involves shuffling and reshuffling of players. In this process teams often lose out on key players. These players then go on to excel for a different team and the regret of letting go of a great player lingers on.
StumpsandBails looks at one player from every team they whom they regret letting go:
#8 Chennai Super Kings– Ravichandran
One player each team will regret for releasing in IPL history. CSK are one of the most tactically shrewd franchises in the league. They seldom let go of key players from their setup. But CSK too faltered on that count once. They couldn’t retain Ravichandran Ashwin in the 2018 mega auctions. CSK felt that Ashwin is a spent force in T20 cricket but he has proven it otherwise. He is certainly someone whom CSK regrets letting go of.
#7 Mumbai Indians- Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo was MI’s Kieron Pollard before Pollard arrived into the MI setup. Bravo was on top of his game in the initial few years of IPL. But MI chose to let go of Bravo in 2011 itself. Bravo since then has gone to win a purple cap for CSK. He has starred in many jailbreaks for the franchise. The decision of releasing Bravo surely haunts MI. Since they don’t have a settled 4th overseas player in the XI up until now.
#6 Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab)- Sam Curran
Sam Curran in his very first IPL season proved that he is a superstar cricketer in making. Curran took a hattrick in 2019 against DC. He scored runs at a strike rate of 172.72. He picked up 10 wickets in 9 games. Curran did everything he was asked to do in 2019. But sadly Punjab didn’t retain Curran. He has performed excellently for CSK since then.
#5 Sunrisers Hyderabad- Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan was the silent hero for the Hyderabad franchise since 2012. He was an effective member of the squad who helped many wins along with David Warner. But ahead of IPL 2019, SRH traded Dhawan for Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, and Shahbaz Nadeem. It has surely proved to be a damp squib of a move.
#4 Rajasthan Royals- Shane Watson
Shane Watson was the first player in IPL history to win the MVP award twice (2008 & 2013). He was an integral part of RR’s setup from 2008 until 2015. Watson played a huge part in RR winning the championship in 2008. Hence it came as a surprise when RR chose not to retain Watson in the 2018 auctions. Watson went on to play a starring role in CSK’s title triumph in 2018 scoring 555 runs.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore-KL Rahul
KL Rahul came into his own in the IPL in 2016. He had slowly started expressing himself in world cricket at that stage. Hence it came as a surprise that RCB chose not to retain Rahul in 2018. Since then Rahul has gone on to score more than 590 runs in each completed season. Rahul holds the orange cap in IPL 2021 too.
#2 Kolkata Knight Riders-Chris Gayle
KKR released Chris Gayle ahead of the IPL 2011 auctions. Gayle even went unsold in the auctions in 2011. In a left-field move, Anil Kumble from RCB chose Gayle as an injury replacement to Dirk Nannes midway through IPL 2011. Gayle went on to smash 608 runs in 12 games for RCB. He bettered his record scoring 733 runs. Gayle lit up the IPL in a way only he could envision it. It was a great miss from KKR’s point of view.
#1 Delhi Capitals (Daredevils)- AB de Villiers
Delhi Daredevils as they were then known weren’t the greatest of the decision-makers back then. They have let go of many IPL stalwarts from their setup. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, David Warner, and Andre Russell are all players whom Delhi let go of. But the biggest player whom Delhi regrets losing is AB de Villiers. He is the only batsman in the history of the league to average more than 40 and have a strike rate of 152.