Kings XI Punjab, on Thursday, released 11 players ahead of the upcoming IPL auction. The Punjab-based outfit has retained only 9 players. Earlier this month, they had also traded Marcus Stoinis for Mandeep Singh with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Veteran India star Yuvraj Singh and Australia skipper Aaron Finch headline the list of released players. The other players released by Kings XI Punjab are Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Ben Dwarshuis, Manoj Tiwary, Akshdeep Nath, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar and Manzoor Dar.
Yuvraj had returned to the franchise last year but failed to live up to the hype. So his exclusion does not come as a big surprise. However, Aaron Finch’s release is a big surprise. The Australia star has been in superb form this year in the shortest format of the game. Finch went past his own record for the highest T20I score when he smashed 172 against Zimbabwe during a tri-nation series involving Pakistan and averages over 50 with a strike rate of almost 190 in 2018. But perhaps the presence of some big names in the top-order convinced Kings XI Punjab to let go the Aussie.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who led the team last year, is one of the nine retained players. The others Indians are Lokesh Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot. The overseas players retained are Andrew Tye, mystery spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, David Miller and Chris Gayle.
The overall comes after some poor outings in the last three seasons. Kings XI Punjab finished eighth in the 2016 edition of the IPL. In 2017, they nearly made it to the playoff stage but finished fifth after losing their last game. In 2018, the Punjab-based outfit were looking set to make it to the playoffs after winning five of their opening seven games. However, they managed a solitary victory in their next seven games to finish at the seventh spot.
Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller and Ravichandran Ashwin
Aaron Finch, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Barinder Sran, Ben Dwarshuis, Manoj Tiwary, Akshdeep Nath, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar and Manzoor Dar
Marcus Stoinis for Mandeep Singh