IPL 2021 will return to its original March-May window this year, and the franchises have kicked off their respective planning procedure ahead of the auction. The IPL Governing Council had informed the teams about publicizing their player retention list by January 20.
The eight teams met the deadline and declared their retained and released players' list ahead of IPL 2021. While some big names returned to the auction pool, few players who flattered to deceive in IPL 2020 were kept hold of.
Several Indian players were let go by their respective franchises before IPL 2021. Here's a list featuring the top five Indian stars to be released by IPL teams on January 20.
#5 Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh is one of the few players who played in the inaugural IPL season and is still around. The off-spinner played ten seasons for the Mumbai Indians before joining the Chennai Super Kings in 2018.
The 40-year-old, who won the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup and the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup for India, didn't feature in IPL 2020, owing to personal reasons.
Although he picked up 16 wickets in 11 matches for CSK in IPL 2019, the Chennai-based franchise have decided against retaining his services.
#4 Karun Nair
Karun Nair had stormed into the spotlight after scoring a triple century in a Test match against England in 2016. However, the right-handed batsman lost his place in the Indian Test team soon after. And now, Kings XI Punjab have also ended their association with Nair.
After a battle with COVID-19, the 29-year-old featured for KXIP in IPL 2020. He played four games, managing only 16 runs, with 15 of those coming in one innings.
In IPL 2019, he scored five runs in the only game he played. As a result, Kings XI Punjab have released him.
#3 Piyush Chawla
Another name from the Chennai Super Kings to appear on this list is Piyush Chawla. The leg-spinner picked up six wickets in seven games for CSK in IPL 2020. However, he could not justify his massive price tag of ₹6.75 Crore.
The Chennai Super Kings might look to sign Chawla at a lower price as he could perform well at the Chepauk. It will be interesting to see which teams go for the 32-year-old in the IPL 2021 Auction.
#2 Murali Vijay
The Chennai Super Kings let go of multiple senior Indian cricketers ahead of IPL 2021. Their released players' list includes Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla, and Harbhajan Singh.
While Vijay could not achieve much success in white-ball cricket at the international level, the right-handed batsman was an asset for the Chennai Super Kings in their initial seasons. He had aggregated over 400 runs in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons to guide CSK to their first two IPL championships.
Vijay, who was used as a back-up opener by CSK in the last few years, got a chance to regain his place in the team in IPL 2020. However, he managed just 21 runs in three games.
#1 Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav has been a vital part of the Indian fast bowling attack in Test cricket. He was once a regular fixture in the white-ball squads too, but the pacer could not retain his place for an extended period because of his high economy rate.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore showed faith in him last year even though he had an economy rate of 9.81 in IPL 2019. Unfortunately, Umesh Yadav's performance dipped further as he gave away runs at a rate of 11.86 per over in the UAE.
His failure to scalp a single wicket for RCB in IPL 2020 has led to his exit from the franchise. Owing to his vast experience, the right-arm bowler could be picked up in the IPL 2021 Auction.