There will be strange absentees from this years IPL season. Here’s a look at which South Africans didn’t make the cut and why.
1. Neither the Royal Challengers Bangalore nor the Rajasthan Royals have an established opening partner for West Indian Chris Gayle or Indian Ajinkya Rahane respectively, but both in particular ignored the veteran Hashim Amla, whose relatively cheap base price and growing limited-overs popularity went rather unnoticed.
2. Former Kolkata Knight Riders kingpin Morne van Wyk’s recent return to the T20I unit and presence in South Africa’s preliminary World Cup squad has revitalised the 36-year-old’s career, but the late flourish has stopped short at another chance in the IPL.
3. Unlike fellow all-rounder Albie Morkel, who soon found work at the Delhi Daredevils after being released by the Royal Challlengers Bangalore, the out-of-form Wayne Parnell was unable to secure an alternative after being let go by Delhi.
4. Somewhat of a Test specialist, the left-handed Dean Elgar wasn’t ever going to tickle any IPL big spender’s fancy, but can be consoled after cleaning up at the Titans’ annual awards recently – namely limited-overs player of the year, players’ player of the year, player of the year.
5. From the heady days of opening the batting with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar to the humbling lessons since learnt, batsman Richard Levi’s recent form continues to promise a resurgence – if not in the IPL, then Northamptonshire in England’s upcoming T20 Blast.
6. All-rounder Robin Peterson was relatively successful for the Mumbai Indians in 2012, but three years later will have to make do with a stint in the Caribbean Premier League – and the Cobras’ next Champions League Twenty20 campaign.
7. All-rounder Farhaan Behardien’s finishing skills with the bat and burgeoning role with the ball seemed a near ideal fit for, say, Delhi or Rajasthan, but all eight franchises begged to differ.
8. Having represented as many as three South African franchises in the Warriors, Dolphins and the Lions, seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe has yet to find an IPL home. Slow recovery from ankle surgery and a quiet domestic season didn’t really help his pursuit.
9. Opening batsman Cameron Delport signed up for the player auction, but his name was not read out due to an administrative oversight hastened by time constraints. He has, however, signed for the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel ahead of this year’s CPL.
10. Once central to the Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s plans, all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe has since fallen from favour, but still boasts one of the cheapest economy rates by a South African at the tournament.
11. All-rounder Robbie Frylinck’s performance was the lone highlight of an otherwise plighted 2014 CL T20 campaign for the Dolphins, but not enough to earn the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils conscript another IPL stint.
12. Batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld struck back-to-back List A centuries mere days before the 2015 player auction. Like Dolphins team-mate Frylinck, though, van Jaarsveld was deemed surplus to requirement.
13. All-rounder Justin Ontong’s return to the Proteas fray, and even the T20I captaincy briefly, was not enough to solicit any IPL suitors. He’ll be with the Cape Cobras at the CL T20 later this year, though.
14. Former Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper-batsman Davy Jacobs’ inability to secure an IPL contract in mid-February probably played a large part in his retirement from franchise cricket in South Africa a week later.