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Five IPL stars who won’t be part of IPL 2022

The IPL is changing. This year there will be two new teams, a two-table schedule instead of the round-robin, and an auction-shuffled player pool. But we’ve seen it all before; the ten-team experiment initiated in 2011 reduced to nine after Kochi Tuskers pulled out, then petered out with the termination of Pune Warriors India in 2013. Almost everything about the extravagant tournament has changed – from teams to captains to jerseys. But there were some players who lent the league character, who formed the backbone of its viewership and fanbase. After 14 years of the IPL, a number of the tournament’s stalwarts won’t be around anymore.

5. Piyush Chawla

When he made his debut with Kings XI Punjab in 2008, the 20-year-old leg-break bowler from UP made an impact right from the first season onwards. With 157 wickets, he stands at number five on the list of highest wicket-takers in the history of the IPL. He’s bowled some truly memorable spells over the years, most notably his four-wicket-hauls – one that cost only 17 runs against RCB in 2011, and another against Delhi for 32 runs in 2015 . But in the last two years he hasn’t managed to hold on to his place in the eleven, neither for CSK IN 2020 nor MI in 2021. Now, at 33, he couldn’t find any takers in the IPL auction.

4. Amit Mishra

The legspinner has been invaluable to all three franchises he has played for – Sunrisers Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers, and for the most part, Delhi. He took a 5-wicket haul in the very first edition of the IPL playing for Delhi Daredevils, including a hat-trick, which left the opposing team Deccan Chargers in tatters. With 166 wickets from 154 matches across 14 years, he’s third highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, only behind Lasith Malinga and Dwayne Bravo. He’s also the only person to take three hat-tricks in the IPL, nabbing one more against King XI Punjab in 2011, and another in 2013  against Pune Warriors India. With his tight line, he became an effective weapon in Delhi’s armoury to slow the flow of runs in the middle overs, and break crucial partnerships. He’s spent the majority of his IPL career with Delhi, and in 2021 he became the first player to complete 100 games for the franchise. He returned to their squad in 2015 after a stint with the Deccan Chargers and SRH, and has remained a vital cog in their lineup since. Despite going unsold at the 2022 auction, 40-year-old Mishra believes he still has plenty of cricket left in him.

3. Chris Gayle

The self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ has provided endless entertainment over the years, his explosive batting at the top irrespective of the team’s situation. Gayle scored 608, 733 and 708 runs between 2011 to 2013 when opening for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, winning the orange cap for two out of those three seasons. He holds the records for the highest number of hundreds scored in the IPL – six, two of which came during his extraordinarily prolific 2011 season. The destruction he was capable of was never taken lightly by opposing teams, even as his form deteriorated over the years.  A truly astounding knock was his century against Pune Warriors India in 2013, the sort of single-handed carnage that was never really possible to replicate since. He ravaged the PWI attack, bludgeoning 13 fours and 17 (seventeen!) sixes to reach his mammoth 175.

The Jamaican’s peak years were spent at RCB after they signed him in 2011, but his impact started to dwindle after the 2014 season. Still, even at the age of 39, he managed to find takers at the 2018 auction, and he joined Punjab Kings as their opener for the next three seasons. Gayle went unsold at the 2022 auction, bringing an anticlimactic end to an IPL career that has redefined batting in the tournament.

2. AB de Villiers

The South African played three seasons for the Delhi Daredevils beginning 2008, who inexplicably released him three years later. RCB snapped him up for 5 crore in 2011, a bargain considering the value he brought their side, and since then have naturally refused to let Mr. 360 out of their sight.

de Villiers was the consummate sportsman, the man for all seasons. Whether it was rebuilding the innings from 29 for 5, or pillaging runs off the final few overs to chase down impossible targets, AB was the man who could do it all. He’s scored over 5000 runs in the IPL, up there with the big guns, and done so indiscriminately at whatever position he was asked to bat.

One such jaw-dropping knock was his unbeaten 133 against Mumbai Indians in 2015. This innings was extra special because it came against the world-class pace-bowling trio of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McCleneghan, and the Protean dispatched them all with ease to whichever corner of the ground he chose.

de Villiers announced his retirement from cricket in November last year, breaking the hearts of all his fans who banked on the IPL as the only means to watch the superhero-esque South African.

1. Suresh Raina

Every Chennai Super Kings fan has unforgettable memories of Mr. IPL. His little frame walking out to bat in the bright yellow dustbowl of Chepauk Stadium, his slog sixes over cover from down on one knee, his diving saves at point to stop unstoppable runs, his wow-factor catches at the boundary.

The left-hander’s remembered for some outstanding innings, many of them occurring at crucial match-winning moments. He was man-of-the-match in the IPL 2010 final, his 57 carrying CSK to their inaugural IPL title after two successive playoff heartbreaks. In the qualifier against RCB in 2011, his match-winning 73 built the innings back from 7/2 to take CSK into the final. A blistering 87 from 25 balls against Punjab in 2014 took CSK closer to a mammoth 227 than they ever dared to dream.

The pillar of CSK’s middle order has amassed 5528 from his 14 years in the tournament, the fourth highest. But his commitment to the franchise stands out from one single, absurd, unmatched stat – in ten years of the IPL, Raina had never missed a game for CSK. Only in 2018 was he forced to sit out with a calf injury against Kings XI Punjab, after an astonishing eight years without a single missed game for the franchise.

Sadly, that changed in 2020. CSK were forced to find a replacement for Raina after he backed out of the season, and franchise’s fortunes took a turn for the worse without their middle-order mainstay. He couldn’t find a place in CSK’s eleven for the latter half of the 2021, and finally went unsold in the 2022 auction, ending his IPL career with 205 matches.

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