IPL Trade Window closes, new squads released
Though the IPL is still a number of months away, the trade window recently concluded, meaning we have a whole new batch of information about next season’s teams to obsess over. Each team released or retained their players from the 2018 edition of the IPL, while a number of trades took place. Below, we run through how each team fared.
Chennai Super Kings
Last years IPL championships were unsurprisingly relatively happy with the squad that led them to an eight wicket victory in IPL 11, and subsequently opted to retain virtually all of their players. Only three were cut from the list - the uncapped Kanishk Seth and Kshitiz Sharma, and Englishman Mark Wood, who made just one relatively unsuccessful appearance last season.
The Daredevils found themselves at the other end of the table last season, finishing in last place. In total, they got rid of 13 players, with some talented players among them. The enigmatic Glenn Maxwell was released, as was former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir and English batsman Jason Roy.
They also got rid of Shankar, Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem in a trade which yielded them local opener Shikhar Dhawan as well as a bit of cash. Dhawan is a talented batsman who will provide firepower at the top of the order, and the Daredevils will no doubt be happy to have got that deal done.
Kings XI Punjab
After failing to qualify for the playoffs, Kings XI Punjab released a number of players, including some of significant quality. Axar Patel is one such player who was let go, while Yuvraj Singh, a starting member of the XI at the beginning of last season, was released after numerous failures throughout IPL 11.
They have made one addition to the team, bringing in Mandeep Singh, an attacking right hand batsman from the region.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders had a solid IPL 11, finishing in third and making it through to the Qualifier 2 before being knocked out by Sunrisers Hyderabad. They released eight players, including the Australian left-arm fast bowling duo of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson. Starc is certainly the more surprising of the two as one of the premier strike bowlers in the world, but having missed the last two IPL seasons due to international cricket and injury respectively, they obviously determined it was no longer worth retaining him.
In contrast, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who also missed all of last season, has been retained, as has the man who replaced him, Prasidh Krishna.
The Mumbai Indians, after just missing the playoffs last season, made a positive move in the trade period by picking up South African wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock. De Kock arrives from Royal Challengers Bangalore in a trade which included Mustafizur - a seamer from Bangladesh - and off-spinner Dananjaya - who managed just a solitary game last season.
They released a couple of talented players, including Australian pacer Pat Cummins, perhaps unsurprising given Cricket Australia have highlighted a desire to focus on World Cup preparation in place of IPL commitments. South African batsman JP Duminy was also let go.
The Royals have retained the vast majority of their 2018 squad after a season which saw them sneak into the playoffs before being immediately eliminated. Chief among these retentions is Steve Smith, former Australian captain and arguably the world’s best batsman, who was unavailable due to suspension for ball-tampering last season. Ben Stokes, one of the highest paid T20 players in the world, has also suffered in the past year from suspension, but he too was retained on what is a highly talented squad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Despite having one of the most exciting batting lineups in the league, Royal Challengers Bangalore failed to make the playoffs last season. The likes of Virat Kohl and AB de Villiers will again suit up for them in 2019, but fellow big-hitter Brendon McCullum has been released, while Quinton de Kock was traded to Mumbai in exchange for cash.
In another trade, Mandeep has headed to his hometown team Kings XI Punjab in exchange for Australian Marcus Stoinis. Stoinis, a big-hitter and capable seam bowler, will provide an injection of talent to both the batting and bowling lineups.
Sunrisers Hyderabad finished atop the table at the end of IPL 11’s regular season, but after making it through to the final, couldn’t get the job done against the Chennai Super Kings. They retained a majority of their squad, including powerful opening batsman David Warner - who missed last season with suspension for the same incident as Steve Smith.
They did, however, release a number of players who played valuable roles for them last season. Chief among them is explosive English batsman Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite - who played in the final last season - and specialist late innings bowler Chris Jordan. On top of that, they traded Shikhar Drawn in the aforementioned trade, bringing in Vijay Shankar, Abbishek Sharma, and Shahbaz Nadeem. All in all, expect to see a pretty different lineup for Sunrisers Hyderabad come IPL 12.
The IPL might still be four months away, but the release of these updated team rosters is an exciting indication that the tournament is nearing. Though for the most part, the retentions and releases are largely predictable, there are always numerous talking points, while the addition of a couple of fairly significant trades also provide valuable insight into how certain teams are shaping up for the new season.