Over the 16 years in the IPL, there have been some releases made by franchises that have proven to be the best and worst decisions they have ever taken.
Ahead of every IPL auction, the franchises look to rebuild their squad and release players who they don’t think are in form, are good future investments, or don’t fit in their team anymore.
While many times, the players released decisions seem justifiable, sometimes the released players make their former franchise regret leaving them by performing brilliantly elsewhere.
Here are the 5 worst player release decisions made by IPL franchises:
AB de Villiers by Delhi
During his time at RCB, AB de Villiers went on to become one of the greatest T20 batsmen of all-time. At RCB, AB de Villiers averaged 41 with a strike rate of 158, smashing 2 centuries and 37 fifties. This would have made Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) regret them releasing ABD ahead of the 2011 season.
Suryakumar Yadav by KKR
Suryakumar Yadav was doing well in the domestic circuit but didn’t really do anything noteworthy during his time at KKR from 2014 to 2017, because KKR played him as a finisher. However, when he joined Mumbai Indians in 2018, MI recognised his potential and batted him mostly in the top 4 and SKY excelled. He was so good at MI that in 2021 he got to make his T20I debut and now is the number 1 ranked T20I batsman in the world.
Andre Russell by Delhi
Delhi didn’t realise they had future world-class players in their side and kept releasing them all. He was released by Delhi in 2013 and then he joined KKR. It was a surprise that Russell was let go of by Delhi because of how rare quality pace-bowling all-rounders are. It proved to be a blessing for KKR as Russell took the IPL by storm.
Rashid Khan by SRH
The release of Rashid Khan by SRH ahead of the 2022 auction is still perhaps the most baffling release. Because by 2022, Rashid had already established himself as arguably the best T20 spinner in the world who could also provide some hits with the bat.
Rashid picked 46 wickets for SRH and helped them into the 2018 final and only grew bigger from there. Yet, SRH didn’t retain him. Rashid joined Gujarat Titans in 2022 and won his first IPL trophy.
Hailed as the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle was released by KKR in 2010, Gayle had even captained KKR in the 2009 season. But KKR decided to release Gayle after 2010. Gayle went unsold in the 2011 auction but RCB roped him in as a replacement for Dirk Nannes. From thereon, Gayle built up his and RCB’s brand with swashbuckling performances almost every season.