The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to host the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India from April 9 to May 30 across six venues namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. With the inaugural match to be played between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2021 will witness a total of 11 doubleheaders where 6 teams will play three-afternoon matches & two teams will play two-afternoon matches.
Since the inception of the T20 Championship in 2008, the viewers have witnessed a plethora of international stars weaving their magic and helping their respective franchises win the elite title. Just like the previous season, IPL 2021 also boasts of having many veterans playing the matches. However, there are a few players who will feature in the 2021 edition but we might not see them plying their trade in the IPL 2020 as they are likely to hang their boots before the next season or go unsold. Hence, let’ see
3 Players who might be playing their last IPL season
1. MS Dhoni
The 2020 edition of the T20 Championship hosted by the BCCI in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was nothing less than a nightmare for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the franchise experienced a torrid run and for the first time failed to qualify for the fans. The more disheartening news for the fans was the poor form of skipper MS Dhoni and his visuals of struggling to run fast between the wickets and score runs.
Dhoni had made a comeback to cricket in IPL 2020 after a 14-month long gap from competitive cricket and failed to perform as he amassed just 200 runs in 14 games at an average of 25 and a poor strike rate of 116.27. After a torrid run, there were rumors regarding the Ranchi Stalwart retirement from IPL but he had quashed all such speculations by mentioning ‘Definitely Not’ to the question if he will be hanging his boots.
The former Indian skipper will be playing IPL 2021 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) but he is unlikely to be available for the next edition as there are high chances of the veteran announcing his retirement from the tournament.
2. Harbhajan Singh
India’s veteran specialist spin bowler, Harbhajan Singh has been one of the most successful bowlers for the country and is just behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of Test wickets by an off-spinner. Bhajji has been successful in weaving his magic in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he delivered many match-defining performances for Mumbai Indians (MI)
The spinner was picked by MI during the inaugural edition of the T20 league and stayed with them till the 2017 season. He played a significant role in the team’s win in 2013 and 2015. The 2018 edition saw Singh playing for the Super Kings and in his two years stint with them, he scalped 23 wickets while featuring in 24 games.
The relation between the two turned sour in IPL 2020 when Harbhajan refused to play the league citing personal reasons at the end moment. CSK management seemed upset with the same as they decided to let go of the veteran. Meanwhile, KKR showed interest in the 40-year-old and picked him during IPL 2021 auctions.
Though the Jalandhar-born managed to find a buyer in IPL 2021, he is unlikely to get any game and will be warming the bench for the entire season. Harbhajan is not active in any form of competitive cricket apart from IPL and thus it will be difficult for him to find a buyer in the mega-auction scheduled for the 2022 edition.
3. Imran Tahir
South Africa’s veteran right-arm leg-spin bowler Imran Tahir has phenomenal records under his belt while bowling in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The spinner had started his career in the T20 Extravaganza during the 2014 edition with Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). This was followed by Tahir plying his trade for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 before finally moving to Chennai Super Kings.
Renowned as one of the best spinners to play in the IPL, Imran has 80 scalps under his belt from 58 IPL matches at an economy rate of 7.83 and an average of 21.1. The Pakistan-based spinner had delivered his best performance in the T20 League during the 2019 edition while playing for the Super Kings.
Tahir was a proud owner of the purple cap in 2019 as he registered his name as the spinner to take most wickets in a single season with 26 wickets. However, despite the stunning performance in IPL 2019, the 42-year-old struggled to find a place in the Playing XI in IPL 2020 as he donned the yellow jersey for just three matches and managed to take just one wicket.
In addition, the spinner is also not active in international cricket as he had played for South Africa last in July 2019 in an ODI game against Australia. Thus, the chances of Imran Tahir finding a place in the CSK team this year also looks slim as Moeen Ali will be favored ahead of him. With a mega auction scheduled for next year, Imran Tahir is unlikely to get picked by any franchise and is most likely playing his last season in IPL.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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