Mohammad Kaif will not feature in the second edition of the Indian Premier League. Rajasthan Royals dumped the Team India discard in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Manoj Badale, chairman and co-owner of the Jaipur-based franchisee, said Kaif got the boot as the team management shortlisted 17-18 players for the Twenty20 league, starting on Saturday.
The only way Kaif can be back is if any other player sustains injury, he added.
Dinesh Salunkhe, Paras Dogra, Anup Revandkar, Srideep Mangela, Ashraf Makda and Azhar Malik are the other Rajasthan Royals players wo will return to India.
"It has always been a target to pick a final squad of 17-18 players, and this year we have an even stronger squad than last year. It is disappointing to have to let go of any players, as they are all stars in our view," Badale said.
Claiming the franchisee is a close-knit family where a player's participation is not about one season alone, Badale said axed players will have a role to play in future matches and tournaments.
"Much of the attention will focus on Mohammed Kaif, who has been a key part of our success to date -- not just as a batsman, but as a role model for our younger Indian players. He has been extremely supportive of the decision, which says a lot about him as a person.
"Injuries and new conditions mean that the player's participation later in the tournament is not ruled out," added Badale.