Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have released England's T20I vice-captain Sam Billings. Apart from Billings, the IPL franchise has released four other players, including David Willey, Mohit Sharma, Chaitanya Bishnoi, and Dhruv Shorey. This decision will allow CSK to have a purse of Rs 14.6 crore for the upcoming auction.
Ever since the name #ThambiSambi came about, the journey has been like that of a family. Nandri @sambillings for all the #yellove! #Relea5ingToday #SuperForever #WhistlePodu 🦁💛 pic.twitter.com/gn0QOdegK0— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) November 15, 2019
In a heartfelt message on social media, Billings thanked CSK and his teammates for an incredible two years he had with the team. In his post, Billings claimed that he learned a lot during his stint at CSK and loved every minute of it. Billings added that the franchise held a special place in his heart, and he was hugely grateful for the opportunity presented to him. He recounted that his CSK debut at the Chepauk would always be one of his favourite moments on the cricket field. Billings also thanked all CSK fans for the love they showered on him during his stint at CSK.
I want to thank everyone involved @chennaiipl for 2 absolutely incredible years; winning the iplt20 & then runners up. I learnt so much and loved every minute.— Sam Billings (@sambillings) November 15, 2019
This franchise has a very special place in my heart,… https://t.co/NDXpkEf4Xd
CSK has picked up Billings in the 2018 IPL auction. He played 11 games for the team in the two seasons he was with them. He scored 108 runs, including a match-winning 56 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2018, which saw CSK crowned the champions.
Meanwhile CSK, who have reached the finals in both the seasons under the leadership of MS Dhoni since their comeback into the IPL fold has retained its core players. The core group of players includes skipper Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson amongst others.
The team has been dubbed the daddies Army, with most of its players on the wrong side of 30. In 2019, the franchise had to put particular focus on managing the injuries of the players. Dhoni was even lauded for his skills of using semi-fit players brilliantly and taking the team to the IPL finals where they lost to Mumbai Indians by a run. This time too, CSK seems to have once again decided to put its faith in experience over youth for the 2020 season.