The Delhi Daredevils franchise has decided against retaining Kevin Pietersen, their skipper in the last edition, Dinesh Karthik, the costliest buy, and Test specialist Murali Vijay for the eighth season of the Indian Premier League.
Delhi Daredevils' Chief Executive Officer Hemant Dua confirmed the development and explained the reason for the decision.
"Yes, we have submitted our list of releases to the IPL governing council and I can confirm that we have released Kevin Pietersen, Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay among the marquee players. We have only retained 11 players from the last season of IPL," Dua said on Monday.
Delhi had got back Pietersen, one of the biggest draws last season, by using their 'Right to Match' option at Rs 9 crore. He, however, disappointed, scoring 294 runs in 11 matches, while Karthik aggregated 325 in 14.
With a dearth of a good T20 wicketkeeper-batsman in the country, Karthik, despite indifferent form, had fetched a whopping Rs 12.5 crore.
Asked whether it was an expensive buy, Dua explained: "It was the decision of the Daredevils management. The rationale behind releasing some of the marquee players is going into the auction with a bigger purse and also look from the perspective of being cost effective."
The CEO also said that there remains a possibility that they might re-look at any of these players during the next auction, but didn't want to commit anything on it.
Murali Vijay, who scored two half-centuries in the Adelaide Test while missing a ton by a solitary run in the second innings, had a poor IPL, scoring nly 207 runs and is now back in the auction pool.
For Pietersen, retention would have been pretty difficult as he no longer enjoys the privilege of being an international cricketer.
He is freelancing in T20 tournaments across the globe but his fitness remains a big concern.
Karthik has nothing to show of late following a not-too-good performance behind the stumps and in front of it.
While some Indian players like Manoj Tiwary and Kedar Jadhav have been retained, the franchise decided to release Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla as he couldn't live up to the expectations of being the all-rounder Gary Kirsten was looking for.
Image: Kevin Pietersen