Chennai Super Kings Welcomes Dhoni Back To The Team!

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back at his ‘spiritual home’ Chennai Super Kings while Royal Challengers Bangalore retained India captain Virat Kohli during the much-publicized yet predictable Indian Premier League retentions here this evening.

The Governing Council, after a meeting in New Delhi, allowed CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR), which was also banned for alleged spot-fixing and betting, to retain the players who were on their 2015 roster. Dhoni played for the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the last two editions.

Current Australia skipper Steve Smith was Rajasthan Royals’ only pick while his deputy David Warner remains with Sunrisers Hyderabad along with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended owing to the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, which shook the league to its core and allegedly involved not just players but also some top officials of the two franchises.

“An IPL Franchise is eligible to secure up to 5 players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention [Pre Player Auction] and Right to Match [RTM] [During the Player Auction],” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a statement after the meeting.

RTM refers to a franchise’s right to match the highest bidder for a player.

“The player pool available for CSK and RR for retention/RTM will be the players’ who played for them respectively in IPL 2015 and who were part of RPS and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017,” he said.

When IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla was contacted, he said that total retentions including Right To Match could be anything between three to five, depending on what the majority of the franchises agree.

Runners-up last season, Kolkata Knight Riders, retained West Indies bowler Sunil Narine and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell. Sunrisers Hyderabad retained Australian batsman David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Delhi Daredevils retained three players—South African batsman Chris Morris, upcoming batting talent Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer.

Kings XI Punjab retained only one player, all-rounder Axar Patel. Both Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan are up for grabs at the two-day IPL player auction on 27-28 January in Bengaluru.

It was also learned that majority of the franchises want an increase in salary purses from Rs 60 Cr to Rs 75 crore while a few want it to be Rs 80 crore. “Most of the franchises want the salary purse to Rs 75 crore. I guess it would be done,” the official said.

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