5 Worst retentions in IPL history
Not every retention has been such a success story in IPL.
Updated - Jan 10, 2021 3:48 pm
Retentions are one of the most defining aspects of any player draft/auction-based sporting event. Essentially, it’s a mechanism that guarantees a team to hold on to their marquee performers regardless of any financial or circumstantial constraints involved.
Naturally, the Indian Premier League (IPL), in its 13-year history, has seen some really interesting instances of players reprising their roles with their home-teams. The likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have unanimously evolved into the face of their respective teams- not just because of their presence on field- but their prolonged association with the franchise that was made possible thanks to the retention system.
But even hard retentions aside, international players who were reinstated with the Right to Match (RTM) system, like Rashid Khan, Kieron Pollard, and Kagiso Rabada, have made quite an impact to demonstrate exactly how important the concept of retention is.
But not every retention has been such a success story. Over the years, there have been quite a few players who’ve massively underperformed on their valued promise.
Here’s us, analysing five players, who turned out to the worst retention choices for their respective IPL franchises –
1) Sarfaraz Khan, Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2018
The (then) 19-year-old right-hand batsman from Mumbai had a promising start to his IPL career when he debuted for RCB in 2015. In his maiden season itself, Sarfaraz played a couple of handy cameos lower down the order and carved a niche for himself as an Indian finisher- a rare commodity, as far as IPL is concerned.
The 8th and 9th seasons of the IPL saw Sarfaraz compile 177 runs from 17 matches at a phenomenal strike-rate of 173.52. His ability to play a wide range of unorthodox cricketing shots earmarked him as a hot prospect for team India’s future.
However, there was a clear problem with Sarfaraz’s fitness. While highly appreciative of his young teammate, captain Virat Kohli minced no words in calling out Sarfaraz for being overweight. Additionally, his tendency to pick up frequent injuries- including a leg-muscle pull that ruled him out of the entire 2017 IPL season- didn’t help his cause.
Despite that mixed bag of records, the RCB management took a leap of faith on their young gun and named Sarfaraz as one of the core players ahead of the 2018 mega auction. He was retained for a whopping sum of INR 1.75 Crores. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite live up to that reputation and massively under-performed; scoring just 51 runs from 7 innings.
Unsurprisingly, Sarfaraz was let go off in the next season itself and roped in by the Kings XI Punjab. Interestingly, at Punjab, Sarfaraz joined KL Rahul and Chris Gayle- the two other ex-RCB players who had the highest likelihood of getting retained ahead of the IPL 11 mega auction.