Yuvraj, Steyn among 61 players released for IPL 2016

Yuvraj Singh, Dale Steyn, Virender Sehwag, Angelo Mathews, and Kevin Pietersen are some of the big names among 61 players released by Indian Premier League franchises, as the window to retain players closed on Thursday.

Yuvraj Singh had been lacklustre for Delhi Daredevils last year.   -  K. Pichumani

Yuvraj Singh, who has recently been selected for the Indian Twenty20 team for the limited overs- tour of Australia, has been released from the Delhi Daredevils franchise, for the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Virender Sehwag, George Bailey, Dale Steyn, Angelo Mathews, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Kevin Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik are some of the other prominent players released by their respective franchises.

Yuvraj, who was bought for Rs. 16 crores in the IPL auction last year, scored 248 runs in 14 games last season, at an average of 19.07, an underwhelming strike-rate of 118.09 and a highest score of 57. He, however, has recently undergone a phase of hot form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with a tally of 346 runs in six matches at an average of 69.20.

Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, proved mediocre for Delhi last season, too, scoring 144 runs in 11 matches. Karthik, the Tamil Nadu stalwart, failed to shine for Royal Challengers Bangalore, with a similar runs tally to Mathews. Sehwag, released by Kings XI Punjab, had also failed to shine with the bat.

Dale Steyn, currently the No. 2 ranked Test bowler, struggled last season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, taking three wickets at 56.66 and an economy rate of 8.94, in six matches. He was not the only big player to be released from the franchise, though. Pietersen, who did not play last season in a bid to regain his Test spot for England, was also released. The 2016 edition of the tournament begins on April 9, and the auction will take place on February 6.

The following table represents details of the franchises' balance sheet for the 2016 auction. Each franchise has a total of Rs. 66 crore that could be spent on buying players.