IPL 2021 Auction: Harbhajan Singh confirms CSK exit as spinner’s “contract comes to an end”

IPL 2021 Auction: Veteran Chennai Super Kings off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has confirmed his exit from three-time Chennai Super Kings ahead of IPL 2021 auction as his contract with the three-time champions concludes. The out-of-favour India international took to the microblogging site Twitter to share the news with his fans.

Taking to Twitter, Harbhajan had written: “Dear Friends, I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons.These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL Stay safe and Jai Hind (sic).”

“As my contract comes to an end with@ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best,” Harbhajan said.

Notably, Harbhajan did not take part in the 2020 edition of the tournament, citing personal reasons.

Meanwhile, with the mini-auction ahead of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) inching closer, franchises looking to retain players had been given time till Wednesday to complete the process. Indian players who don’t have a contract and wish to be a part of the auction will need to fill the player auction agreement and submit it online on February 4 by 5 pm. The originals can be sent by post till February 12.

The final of the 13th edition of the IPL was played between Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians in which the latter came out as the winner, clinching their fifth IPL title. Mumbai Indians had earlier won the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.

IPL 2021 Auction: CSK decides to part ways with Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay, deliberating hard on Raina

IPL 2021 Auctions – Chennai Super Kings: As the deadline to submit the list of retained and released players is less than 24 hours away, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has decided to release Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay for the IPL 2021 season. InsideSport has learnt CSK has sent contract renewal drafts to retained players and both Chawla and Vijay have been omitted from the list. Other than this CSK is yet to handover contracts to Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav. It is reliably learnt that team captain MS Dhoni will take final call on the duo today.

CSK finished 7th in the IPL 2020 and is likely to be the most active franchise during the IPL Mini Auctions – The IPL 2021 Mini Auction will be their opportunity to make necessary changes in the team. CSK who has just 15 Lac left in their player purse will now have monies in the kitty after releasing Chawla and Vijay.

Piyush Chawla will add 6.75 Cr to the CSK’s player purse and Murali Vijay another 2 Cr. Other than this Harbhajan Singh contract is also not getting renewed. That will further add 2Cr to the player purse for CSK.

Shane Watson who has already announced his retirement from IPL will add 4Cr to players kitty. Release of these 4 players combine will add 14.75 Cr to the CSK player purse. Other than this CSK is deliberating hard on contract renewals for Kedar Jadhav (7.8Cr) & Suresh Raina (11 Cr). The decision on the duo will be taken before end of the day today.

“Jadhav was not in best of form in IPL 2020. He was also struggling with his fitness. CSK will move on from Jadhav in IPL 2021, everyone in the team management feels that it will be prudent to take this hard call and invest in future’, said the source close to CSK management.

CSK – Status of players on the firing line –
1) Kedar Jadhav – 7.8 Cr – Likely to lose his contract
2) Imran Tahir – 1 Cr – Unlikely CSK will re-sign with veteran spinner
3) Piyush Chawla – 6.75 Cr – CSK to release Chawla
4) Harbhajan Singh – 2 Cr – No contract renewal for Harbhajan
5) Murali Vijay – 2 Cr – No contract renewal
6) Dwayne Bravo – 6.4 Cr (Subject to his fitness)
7) Suresh Raina – 11 Cr (CSK still indecisive about contract to Raina)

8) Josh Hazlewood 2.0 Cr – (No confirmation on contract renewal for Aussie pacer)
9) Karn Sharma 5 Cr – (May also face axe)

IPL 2021 Suresh Raina – Big question in front of MS Dhoni & CSK: According to information coming in from CSK camp, MS Dhoni and CSK team management is still not very sure about retaining Raina. Reason – hefty pay-tag attached to the just-retired former Indian cricketer.

Raina had a 11Cr contract with CSK. According to the IPL norms, if a player has to be retained by the IPL franchise, it has to be done on the same price as it was in the previous year. The franchises can neither reduce the pay – nor increase the salary for any retained player. This means if at all Raina has to be retained by CSK, they will have to shell out 11Crores for the Southpaw. This will be 4 Crores more than what franchise will be paying to India’s no.1 all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

“CSK has to take a big call on Raina. No doubt he has contributed a lot to the CSK’s success in past. As the team is revamping itself to pay or block 11Cr from 85 Cr total pay-purse is something which may pinch the yellow army. That is the reason they are deliberating hard on the same”, said one of the sources close to the CSK think-tank.

Players certain to be retained by CSK – Some of the consistent performers for CSK in IPL 2020 along with captain MS Dhoni (15 Cr) are set to be retained. The list of retained players will include –

1) MS Dhoni (15 Cr)
2) Deepak Chahar
3) Lungi Ngidi (0.50 Cr)
4) Ravindra Jadeja (7Cr)
5) Ruturaj Gaikwad (0.2Cr)
6) Shardul Thakur (2.6 Cr)
7) Sam Curran (5.5 Cr)
8) Narayan Jagadeeshan (0.2)