Sports CSK

Reliance Jio board member Akash Ambani, Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman and other dignitaries during IPL 2018 Player Retention announcement in Mumbai Jan. 4, 2018. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will once again be seen in his favorite yellow jersey in the Indian Premier League's 2018 season as the Chennai Super Kings retained the Ranchi stumper along with Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

Dhoni has been retained for Rs. 15 crore while Raina and Jadeja were kept for Rs. 11 crore and Rs 7 crore, respectively.

The CSK franchise, back into the IPL fold after serving a two-year ban, has two Right-to-Match options left, which they can use during the IPL auction Jan. 27 and 28.

The Rajasthan Royals, the other franchise to return after a two-year ban, has retained Australia skipper Steve Smith (Rs. 12 crore) and surprisingly pushed the likes of star batsman Ajinkya Rahane back into the auction pool.

The other surprise came in the form of Gautam Gambhir, who was sent into the auction pool despite guiding the Kolkata Knight Riders to lifting the silverware twice – in 2012 and again in 2014. 

The franchise, which is co-owned by Shah Rukh Khan, retained West Indian duo Sunil Narine (Rs. 8.5 crore) and Andre Russell (Rs. 7 crore).

Similarly, the Royal Challengers Bangalore released West Indian power-hitter Chris Gayle while retaining India skipper Virat Kohli (Rs. 17 crore), South African AB de Villiers (Rs. 11 crore) and young Sarfraz Khan (Rs. 1.75 crore).

The Delhi Daredevils expectedly retained young Indian duo Rishabh Pant (Rs. 8 crore) and Shreyas Iyer (Rs. 7 crore), along with South African all-rounder Chris Morris (Rs. 7.1 crore).

The Mumbai Indians also went along expected lines retaining their three-time IPL winning skipper Rohit Sharma (Rs. 15 crore) along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya (Rs. 11 crore) and death-overs bowling specialist Jasprit Bumrah (Rs. 7 crore).

Sharma guided the Mumbai franchise to IPL titles in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Sunrisers Hyderabad also sprang a surprise by releasing India opener Shikhar Dhawan and Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan but retained Australian David Warner (Rs. 12 crore) along with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Rs. 8 crore).

After another dismal 2017 season, Kings XI Punjab retained just left-arm spinner Axar Patel (Rs. 6.75 crore) for the next season.

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