Glenn Maxwell has retained his spot with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for next year's Indian Premier League (IPL), making him the only Australian to do so.
Maxwell was the fifth-highest run-scorer in IPL 2021, scoring 513 runs at an average of 42.75 - with six half-centuries. He hit 21 sixes in the tournament and finished with a strike rate of 144.10.
After such a stellar season, RCB retained Maxwell for a $2 million AUD contract, which is down from last year's sum of $2.5m. But he still remains in the top ten highest-paid players in the IPL.
RCB's retentions for #IPL2022
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 30, 2021
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conveyed to the IPL teams that they can pick a maximum of four players to be retained for the following season, of which only two can come from overseas. Maxwell's status as the sole Australian to be retained across the league highlights some notable Australian omissions in light of their recent T20 form.
Josh Hazlewood was left off the retained list in favour of Moeen Ali at the Chennai Super Kings, despite playing a critical role in winning both the IPL and T20 World Cup finals. He took 2/29 in the IPL final for the Chennai Super Kings and 3/16 in the T20 World Cup final for Australia.
David Warner was the player of the tournament in the T20 World Cup, but his form for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the preceding IPL 2021 tournament was poor. He was omitted from the Sunrisers side mid-way through the season before the franchise eventually ended their years-long retention of Warner.
Commenting on Sunrisers Hyderabdad's Instagram post, Warner said "thanks to all of you for your support over the years, up and downs, my family and I can't stress enough how much we appreciated the love and passion you showed towards us and the team. Candice and I truly wish all the fans the very best for the future and hope whoever you wish to support the best.”
IPL: Bairstow, Warner bid adieu to Sunrisers Hyderabad https://t.co/gFD3W7iWYC
— TOI Sports News (@TOISportsNews) November 30, 2021
Conversely, ahead of IPL 2021, seven Australians were retained by their franchises, including: Marcus Stoinis (Delhi Capitals, $980,000) Daniel Sams (RCB, $38,000), Pat Cummins (KKR, $3.16m), Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians $408,000), Andrew Tye (RCB, $204,000), Adam Zampa (RCB, $287,000) and Kane Richardson (RCB, $816,000).
A large Australian contingent is still expected to feature in IPL 2022, although their path to the league will be made slightly tougher by having to resort to entering the Mega Auction.
The aforementioned names are expected to sought after in the auction, alongside other possible recruits such as Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Ben Cutting, Moises Henriques and Riley Meredith.
The league's expansion by including new franchises in Ahmedabad and Lucknow will increase the demand for players and widen the pool of potential (Australian) selections.
Full list of IPL retained players
Chennai Super Kings: Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Andre Russell, Varun Chakaravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard.
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson, Abdul Samad, Umran Malik.