Cricket crisis gets worse for snubbed Aussie duo
Australian ODI and T20 captain Aaron Finch and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell have both been dumped by their IPL franchises but banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner have been retained.
Finch was one of 11 players to be axed by Kings XI Punjab while Delhi Daredevils have released Maxwell.
As if leading an Australian side that has lost 18 of its past 21 matches in the 50-over format following a 2-1 series defeat to South Africa wasn't tough enough to handle for Finch, he will now miss out on a lucrative payday unless another franchise picks him up at the player auction in December.
There are eight IPL franchises and when Finch went to Kings XI Punjab for this year's tournament, it saw him become the first player in history to take the field for seven teams. But an underwhelming season in which he scored just 134 runs in 10 matches has cost him his spot.
Maxwell has fallen out of favour with selectors after being overlooked for the Test tour of the UAE and he slipped down to No. 7 in the batting order in the ODI side in the final match against the Proteas. Finch said his teammate's form didn't warrant being picked as a specialist batsman and Maxwell's IPL snub represents another blow.
Smith and Warner - both on deals worth $2.4 million - had their IPL contracts torn up and were banned from the 2018 edition of the IPL but have been retained by their franchises for next year's event. Smith will pad up for Rajasthan Royals and Warner has kept his place at Sunrisers Hyderabad, who he captained before his 12-month ban.
These developments follow the news Mitchell Starc's services won't be required by Kolkata Knight Riders next year.
The left-armer was one of the most expensive buys in the annual bidding war for the 2018 season at US$1.47 million, but he missed the event after a stress fracture in his lower right leg.
The Knight Riders have told him he will not be part of their plans for the 2019 tournament, although it was not clear why.
"I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I've been released from my contract," Starc told reporters in Sydney. "At the moment I'll be home in April."
Aggressive top order batsman D'Arcy Short has also been let go by Rajasthan.
Chris Lynn, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake have been retained by their IPL franchises and big-hitting all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has been traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore from Kings XI Punjab.
Australian cricket has been in a state of flux since the ball tampering scandal in South Africa as board members, the Cricket Australia CEO and chairman and other staffers including high performance manager Pat Howard have either been sacked or resigned. The fallout intensified after the release of damning cultural reviews that accused CA of having a bullying culture within the organisation and in its dealings with stakeholders.
CA is playing hardball with stars who want tot take part in next year's IPL, this week saying anyone who goes to India must also make themselves available for the World Cup and Ashes in 2019.
The governing body also said everyone selected in the 15-man World Cup squad will need to attend a pre-tournament training camp and be available for warm-up matches in early May, which would see them miss the final few weeks of the IPL which runs from March 29 to May 19.
On The Bowlology Report podcast this week, former Australian stars Damien Fleming and Brad Hodge discussed how Australian players may be on the nose with IPL franchises because recently players have pulled out just before the tournament kicks off.
Starc, Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff all withdrew this year because of injury and Hodge suggested gambling on Australia's international stars may be too big a risk for IPL teams because their other commitments and injury records may cause them to be unavailable for the duration of the tournament.
News that World Cup stars will need to leave the IPL early is another reason franchises may not want to pay for Finch and Maxwell.