The Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings had received a temporary suspension from the Indian Premier League after the 2015 season. To fill up for them, BCCI invited tenders for new franchises. Ultimately, Pune and Rajkot got their IPL teams, namely the Rising Pune Supergiant and the Gujarat Lions.
Both teams made it to the playoffs once. RPS finished runner-up in the 2017 season, while GL topped the points table in 2016, only to lose two matches on a trot in the playoffs and crash out of the competition. Suresh Raina was the captain of Gujarat Lions, a team that featured the likes of Brendon McCullum, DJ Bravo, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Andrew Tye, and several others.
While a majority of Gujarat’s players earned IPL deals after 2017, here are the six players who played for GL and never returned to the league.
The man who holds the record for the most maiden overs in IPL history, Praveen Kumar played his last IPL season for the Gujarat Lions in 2017. The medium pacer played 119 IPL matches in his career.
Kumar represented the Mumbai Indians, the Kings XI Punjab, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and the Gujarat Lions in the IPL. In his last season, Praveen picked up six wickets in six matches.
One of the most surprising names that has been absent from the IPL since 2017 is Dwayne Smith. The Caribbean all-rounder had made a name for himself with his epic performances for the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings.
Smith played a couple of seasons for GL, where he performed well. In his last IPL match, the opener had scored a half-century against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Still, none of the franchises signed him in 2018.
Australian all-rounder James Faulkner had been a match-winner for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He could not impress much while playing for the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
The all-rounder played eight matches in the 2017 season, where he picked up six wickets and scored 24 runs. Unfortunately, his poor form ended his IPL career.
Shadab Jakati was once the leading spin bowler of the Chennai Super Kings team. The left-arm spinner played a huge role in CSK’s IPL triumph.
Apart from CSK, Jakati also played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Gujarat Lions. In his last IPL season, Jakati remained wicketless in the five overs that he bowled for GL.
A member of India’s ICC World Cup 2011 winning team Munaf Patel had won the IPL title with the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals. In 2017, he returned to IPL after four years, as GL signed him.
Unfortunately, he had lost his pace because of injury issues. Patel ended the 2017 season with just a solitary wicket to his name in the seven overs that he bowled.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan played his last IPL season for the Gujarat Lions in 2017. Pathan played only one game for the team, scoring two runs and bowling a spell of 0/26.
Pathan has quit all forms of cricket now. He is currently working as a commentator for Star Sports, in Hindi as well as the English language.