Aaron Finch has joined a list of talented Aussie cricketers to be left off the list of retained players for next season's Indian Premier League.
The future of Australia's T20 captain has been thrown into further doubt after the 35-year-old was left off the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) retained list for the upcoming season.
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The news comes after Aussie compatriot and KKR teammate Pat Cummins decided to sacrifice his lucrative IPL contract with the franchise to prioritise his international career, citing workload concerns for 2023.
It had been reported that KKR was looking to cut Finch after a poor campaign in this year's edition in which Australia's T20 captain scored 86 runs at 17.20 from five innings.
The Aussie skipper's poor run of form in 2022 was also widely reported before the recent T20 World Cup, however, it's not clear whether the IPL decision was made by Finch, the franchise, or was mutually agreed.
Indian site Sportstar this week quoted 'a source close to Finch' as saying, "At this stage, Aaron is still deciding if he would want to participate in the IPL. He has a young child at home, and now the event goes for 10 weeks which is too long."
Finch, who has represented a record nine IPL franchises, went unsold in the 2022 IPL auction but later replaced England opener Alex Hales who withdrew citing 'bubble fatigue'.
Finch and Cummins are part of a seven-man list of Australian players who have not been retained for next year's IPL, including Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith (both Mumbai Indians), Andrew Tye (Lucknow Super Giants) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Rajastan Royals).
The value of the seven Aussie contracts based on last season's figures is a staggering $3.3 million.
With Jason Behrendorff having been traded from Royal Challengers Bangalore to Mumbai that left nine Australians lined up for the 2023 campaign, plus any bought at auction on December 23.
There is considerable interest in whether Cameron Green will put himself forward for that.
How much demand he is in may depend on how many of England's T20 world champion allrounders are on the market with Ben Stokes and Sam Curran among the most notable unsigned stars.
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Two T20 World Cup winners were surprisingly cut: Hales and Chris Jordan.
Hales' match-winning 86 not out from 47 balls in the semi-final against India was not enough to win him a fresh deal at KKR while Jordan was left out by Chennai Super Kings despite coming into the England side as a death bowler in the semi and final.
The most expensive player axed was New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who had captained Sunrisers Hyderabad on a A$2.5m retention last season.
On Tuesday, Aussie Test and ODI skipper Cummins posted on social media: "I've made the difficult decision to miss next year's IPL. The international schedule is packed with Tests and ODIs for the next 12 months, so will take some rest ahead of an Ashes series and World Cup. Thanks so much to [KKR] for their understanding."
Cummins was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders this year for $AUD1.34 million but has opted to forgo his lucrative contract for the upcoming edition of India's domestic Twenty20 tournament.
The decision comes after Finch retired from ODIs and was replaced as Aussie captain by Cummins, who has one eye on the World Cup in India at the end of next year.
Australia also have a four-Test tour in India next February and March before the IPL, while a five-Test Ashes series in England and potential World Test Championship final follow.
It follows a similar move from fellow Aussie quick Mitchell Starc, who has long prioritised his fitness for Australia over the riches of the IPL.
AUSTRALIANS CONFIRMED FOR IPL 2023
Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell (both Royal Challengers Bangalore), David Warner, Mitch Marsh (both Delhi Capitals), Tim David, Jason Behrendorff (both Mumbai Indians), Matthew Wade (Gujurat Titans), Marcus Stoinis (Lucknow Super Giants), Nathan Ellis (Punjab Kings).
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