IPL franchises have reached a stage wherein they are not hesitant anymore to take tough decisions. With the talent that is coming through, it is also difficult for them to stick with players who fail in even one season. This holds true especially when it is about foreigners. The 2022 T20 World Cup will form an important criterion for teams before starting to think about IPL 2023. A few non-performers could lose their place in their respective franchises if they do not do well in Australia. Here, we look at five players who could be released before IPL 2023 Auction if they underperform in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
1) Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
SRH spent INR 14 Cr ahead of IPL 2022 Mega-Auction on New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. However, the Kiwi failed to do well and since then, his performance for his country in T20Is has also been underwhelming. Yes, Kane is a class cricketer but spending INR 14 Cr on him is a splash because of the role that he performs.
With so many young openers with aggressive intent in the market, SRH could decide to release Kane if his bad form continues. This would also help them target someone like Ben Stokes, who can also open the innings and lead the squad if required.
2) Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Pat Cummins is one of the players who could be released before the IPL 2023 Auction if they underperform in the 2022 T20 World Cup. KKR surprisingly spent a lot on Pat Cummins despite the fact that his bowling record has not been exceptional in IPL.
In T20Is, Pat Cummins is not well-known as a powerplay bowler and he could also leak runs at the death. KKR desperately needs someone to rely on at the death and for that, they could release Cummins if he does not do well at home in T20 World Cup.
3) Marcus Stoinis (Lucknow Super Giants)
Marcus Stoinis was a surprise pick by LSG before IPL 2022 Mega-Auction. The Aussie all-rounder could not justify his price tag and also underperformed for the franchise.
LSG needs a left-hander in the middle order to improve the squad. If Ben Stokes is available, he would be an upgrade over Stoinis. Therefore, to procure funds for the same, LSG could release Stoinis. Especially, if he is out of form in the 2022 T20 World Cup, the probability is high.
4) Lockie Ferguson (Gujarat Giants)
Lockie Ferguson is also one of the players who could be released before the IPL 2023 Auction if they underperform in the 2022 T20 World Cup. The Kiwi pacer could not live up to his INR 10 Cr price tag in IPL 2022. He is also very vulnerable to injuries.
IPL 2022 winners Gujarat Titans could consider releasing Lockie Ferguson and then buying him back cheaply. This could happen if he does not do well in the ICC event. There are plenty of pacers in the market whom GT can target because the likes of Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, Hardik Pandya and Alzarri Joseph formed a good pace attack for the franchise.
5) Odean Smith (Punjab Kings)
Odean Smith was not a great investment by Punjab Kings. It is likely that they will release him. However, if the West Indian does well in the 2022 T20 WC, he could still have a chance to be in the squad.
Punjab Kings might instead target a pure all-rounder. This would help their balance issues a lot. One option is that they can target Shakib Al Hasan or even Ben Stokes for the next season.