Marsh and Johnson have been released by KXIP

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Chandigarh: Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Marsh will fly back to Australia after the pair was released by Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab on Monday. Runners-up in last year’s tournament, Kings XI have failed to find their mojo in 2015, languishing at the bottom of the IPL table with only two wins from 11 matches. Both Johnson (nine wickets at 37.33) and Marsh (81 runs at 20.25) have failed to rediscover their stellar form from a year ago. The move to release the Australian duo was forecast a week ago when rumors suggested Kings XI would start offloading their international players to conserve cash once the team was unable to qualify for the play-offs. Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar denied the reports, saying the information was correct and that there was no plan to send back any foreign players. But that was when Kings XI were still a mathematical chance to qualify, and now that it’s impossible to make the final four, Johnson and Marsh – the former one of the club’s highest paid players – have been excused. The pair will now return to Australia before flying to the West Indies next Monday to begin the two-Test tour of the Caribbean which starts with a three- day tour match in Antigua on May 27. While Johnson and Marsh have left the sub-continent, Kings XI skipper George Bailey and allrounder Glenn Maxwell will remain before they begin a stint in England’s domestic T20 competition. The remaining Australian players in the IPL will continue to play as the season reaches its climax, with four more players – Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Starc – all heading to the West Indies following their IPL commitments.

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