Ishant Sharma
Pictured: Ishant Sharma of Rising Pune Supergiants in action during an IPL 2016 matchIANS

Top cricket stars from over eight franchisees have been released ahead of IPL 2017 by their respective teams. This includes players from South Africa, England, Australia and, of course, India. No Pakistan player is a part of this as cricketers from the neighbouring country have been barred by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take part in the Indian Premier League.

Top names like Kevin Pietersen, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson, Brad Hogg and the just-married Ishant Sharma are part of the players released by their respective IPL sides. Does that mean they cannot be seen playing come IPL 2017?

Well, no is the answer. These players will be under the hammer during the IPL Auction 2017, scheduled to take place in Bengaluru on February 4. The likes of Hogg and Ishant can still play for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) if the mentioned franchisees decide to trigger the buy-back option.

IPL 2017 is scheduled for an April 5 start. Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad will be hosting the opening ceremony as well as the IPL 2017 final.

Here is the entire list of players released

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Karn Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Eoin Morgan, Trent Boult, T Suman, Aditya Tare

Kolkata Knight Riders: Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Colin Munro, John Hastings, Jaydev Unadkat, R Sathish, Manan Sharma, Shaun Tait

Rising Pune Supergiants: Kevin Pietersen, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, RP Singh, Scott Boland, M Ashwin, Peter Handscomb, Saurabh Tiwary, Albie Morkel, George Bailey

Gujarat Lions: Dale Steyn, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, Sarabjit Ladda, Pravin Tambe, Umang Sharma, Amit Mishra (UP fast bowler), Akshdeep Nath

Kings XI Punjab: Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien

Mumbai Indians: Corey Anderson, Marchant de Lange, Unmukt Chand, Akshay Wakhare, Nathu Singh, Kishore Kamath, Martin Guptill, Jerome Taylor

Delhi Daredevils: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, Joel Paris, Pawan Negi, Pawan Suyal, Akhil Herwadkar, Mahipal Lomror

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, David Wiese, Kane Richardson, Vikramjeet Malik, Praveen Dubey, Akshay Karnewar, Vikas Tokas, Parvez Rasool, Chris Jordan