Pune pick Dhoni, Rajkot go for Raina
MS Dhoni was the first pick for the new Pune franchise, owned by New Rising, and his Chennai Super Kings team-mate Suresh Raina was the first player chosen by Rajkot, owned by Intex, at the IPL player draft held in Mumbai.
The other four players chosen by Pune were Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis. Rajkot's other choices were: Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo. Both franchises will lose INR 39 crore from their auction purse, and will have INR 27 crore to spend at the auction in Bangalore to make up the rest of their squad.
All the other Super Kings and Royals players not picked in the draft will go into the main player auction in February.
This player draft was necessary with the addition of two new teams for IPLs 2016 and 2017 to make up for the suspended Super Kings and Royals franchises. New Rising and Intex won ownership at the franchise auction earlier in December, and Pune having made the most successful bid got the first pick in the draft today.
There were very little surprises in terms of selection. Both teams went for Indian players and international heavyweights, although Shane Watson's exclusion seemed notable considering there was a rush for batsmen and allrounders. Ashwin was the only specialist bowler picked by either team. There were no fast bowlers chosen.
Fifty players went into the draft and the two franchises could pick anyone they wanted and ask for them. The first player set them back INR 12.5 crores ($1.86m), the next 9.5 crore ($1.42m), third Rs 7.5 crore ($1.12m). fourth Rs 5.5 crore ($0.82m) and the fifth Rs 4 crore ($0.60m).
These figures do not necessarily indicate the player's full salary. It is only the amount deducted from Pune and Rajkot's purse. All 10 men picked today will be paid the amount they were originally contracted for by the Super Kings or Royals.
Pune and Rajkot used up all of their allotment of five picks - seven players from Super Kings and three from Royals were chosen.