Ahead of the mega Indian Premier League (IPL) auction later this month, India’s premier cash-rich T20 league on Thursday held its player retention ceremony in Mumbai. Most of the big names are retained by their respective franchises, but there are few surprises too.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) retained their skippers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma respectively, while MS Dhoni returned to Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
RCB have decided to retain three players with AB de Villiers and the surprised pick Sarfaraz Khan as the other two. Defending champions Mumbai chose all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pacer Jasprit Bumrah as their other two retained players.
CSK and Rajasthan Royals are making a comeback to the league after two years of suspension due to spot-fixing allegations. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja will join Dhoni in the Chennai squad. Whereas, Royals have retained only one player in Steve Smith.
Sunrisers Hyderabad also kept their skipper David Warner in their payroll along with India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders dropped their long-time skipper Gautam Gambhir and retained two West Indians, spinner Sunil Narine and all-rounder Andre Russell.
Delhi Daredevils also retained three players in Rishabh Pant, wicketkeeper-batsman and Delhi Ranji captain, batsman Shreyas Iyer and South African all-rounder Chris Morris. While Kings XI Punjab picked only one player in spinner Axar Patel.
Delhi also announced former Australia captain Ricky Ponting as their new head coach.