Kane Williamson, who led New Zealand to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup in Australia, was on Tuesday not retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League.
Fellow Southerners Chennai Super Kings have retained India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja despite an acrimonious relationship with the left-arm spinner over the captaincy issue, along with M.S. Dhoni, and have released West Indies great Dwayne Bravo, the 39-year-old T20 itinerant who now seems struggling towards the end of a chequered career.
But the big name to be released is Williamson.
Williamson, who captained the Sunrisers in the 2022 edition, had recently recovered from an injury and has been struggling for form in recent times. Thus the Sunrisers expectedly decided to release him from the contract.
"Always our Kane Mama!," the franchisee wrote in a post on its social media handle with a thank you note to Kane Williamson.
Williamson has in all played 76 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad, scoring 2101 runs at an average of 36.22 and a strike rate of126.03.
While releasing Williamson, the Sunrisers have retained Abhishek Sharma, South Africa's Aiden Markram, young pace sensation Umran Malik, Glenn Phillips of New Zealand, veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Tripathi, Abdul Samad, South African Marco Jansen, Washington Sundar, Karthik Tyagi, T Natarajan and Afghanistan's Fazalhaq Farooqi.
They will now go into the mini-auction next month shopping for a captain as none of the retained players has the experience of leading a top-level side.
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings have released West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo along with New Zealand's Adam Milne, Englishman Chris Jordan and Indians N Jagadeesan, C Hari Nishaanth, K Bhagat Varma, KM Asif and Rohin Uthappa, who had retired from all forms of cricket in September.
Bravo has been with CSK since 2011 and has won the Purple Cap twice (2013 and 2015). He was bought by CSK for Rs 4.40 crore in the 2022 IPL Auction.
The CSK pulled off a surprise by retaining Ravindra Jadeja, who has, as per reports, shown inclination for leaving the franchise after he was made captain for the 2022 edition but stepped down in the middle of a disastrous campaign.
He was reportedly unhappy with the way he was treated by the CSK management. But it seems they have ironed out their differences and Jadeja will continue to "Whistle Podo".
"Eighth Wonder to stay with us!" the CSK announced on Twitter with a picture of Jadeja whistling.
However, it looks a quick fix by the CSK management, a short-term solution because Dhoni will not continue in 2024 and they will need a new captain. Will Jadeja get back the reins after the 2022 failure, only time will tell!