Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to announce the list of players retained by Indian Premier League (IPL) teams on Thursday evening. India skipper Virat Kohli and his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni are among the top players who are set to be retained by their respective IPL franchises, Royal Challengers Bangalore and comeback outfit Chennai Super Kings respectively. Virat Kohli was signed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore as an Under-19 player in the very first IPL auction but is yet to taste a triumph as captain in IPL in spite of his extremely successful run as national captain.
The retained players will get a contract for the next three seasons – 2018 to 2020. Given that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still one of the fittest Indian players, CSK will definitely retain him. Among the other top Indian players, Rohit Sharma, who led Mumbai Indians to their title triumph last season will represent the same side. He is even expected to lead the Mumbai Indians. Similarly, exciting MI all-rounder Hardik Pandya is also most likely to be retained by the franchise along with his brother Krunal Pandya who was Man of the Final last year.
Ravindra Jadeja is set to go back to CSK after playing for Gujarat Lions over the last two seasons along with Suresh Raina, and Australian pocket dynamo David Warner is likely to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad, once again. This means that Ravichandran Ashwin might have to look for a new team.
Another franchise making a return after serving a two-year suspension, Rajasthan Royals, will certainly go for Australia captain Steve Smith, considering the form he has been in. However, there is no confirmation on former Rajasthan Royals player and Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.
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Each team can opt for up to five players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention (Pre Player Auction) and Right to Match (RTM) (during the Player Auction), according to the decision of the IPL GC at its meeting in New Delhi on December 6.
There can be a maximum of either three retentions or three RTMs at the discretion of the franchises and if there is no retention before the player auction, then franchises can have up to three RTMs, as per the norms put in place by the IPL GC.
The break-up is: Maximum number of 3 capped Indian players, 2 overseas players and 2 uncapped Indian players each.
The player retention price guideline for salary cap charged has also been set as Rs 33 crore (for 3 players pre auction), Rs 21 crore (for 2 players pre auction) and Rs 12.5 crore (for 1 player retained pre-auction).