Mumbai Indians have retained Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu ahead of IPL 2014. This means that the franchise will have one right-to-match card, and Rs 210 million, at their disposal at the auction in February.
Rohit had been appointed captain by Mumbai midway through the previous IPL, taking over from Ricky Ponting, and led them to wins in both the IPL and the Champions League T20. Rohit has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the IPL with 2513 runs at 32.63 and a strike rate of 129.66 - second only to Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina on the runs chart.
Sri Lanka's Malinga signed with Mumbai in 2009, and has been with them since. He is the only bowler with more than 100 wickets IPL to his name - his 103 scalps have come at 17.95, and he has conceded just over a run-a-ball (6.54 per over).
Kieron Pollard, the big-hitting West Indies allrounder, was retained despite doubts over a knee injury that has kept him out of action since October.
Harbhajan, who has been with the franchise since the inaugural IPL, has often filled in as captain and in 2011, standing in for the injured Sachin Tendulkar, he led Mumbai to the Champions League T20 title. "I am very happy because I have been with Mumbai Indians since the first day, for the last seven years," Harbhajan said. "I'm hoping [the now-retired] Sachin Tendulkar will be with us in the dugout. Without Tendulkar it will be very strange."
India batsman Rayudu completes the list but missing out were wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who was in red-hot form during the recent Ashes.
The retention rules allow for a franchise to keep on a maximum of five players, of which a maximum of four can be capped India players. Since Mumbai have retained only three capped India players, they can use their right-to-match card at the auction to buy another India player.
A fixed amount will be deducted from Mumbai Indians' auction purse of Rs 600 million (approx. US$ 9.6 million, at the current exchange rate) for each player retained: Rs 125 million for player one, Rs 95 million for player two, Rs 75 million for player three, Rs 55 million for player four and Rs 40 million for player five. That will leave the franchise with Rs 210 million to spend at the auction. This season, each squad must include no less than 16 and no more than 27 players, with a maximum of nine overseas players.
The amount deducted from the auction purse is not necessarily the IPL fee agreed to between the franchise and the retained player.