Chennai Super Kings have retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo ahead of the IPL 2014 auction. The tournament rules allow for five players to be retained, of whom only four can be capped India players. This will leave the franchise with one right-to-match card at the auction on February 12.
Super Kings have been the most successful of the IPL franchises, making the final five times out of six, and winning on two occasions - in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, they did the double of winning the IPL and the Champions League T20. They have also been one of the most settled franchises, with the core of the team remaining the same over the seasons. So it comes as no surprise that they have retained as many players as possible here.
Among the players staying with Super Kings, captain Dhoni, batsman Raina and offspinner Ashwin have never played for another IPL franchise. Dhoni, India's captain and arguably the best finisher in limited-overs cricket, was the most expensive buy of the inaugural IPL auction back in 2008. Raina, the tournament's leading run-getter overall, is yet to miss a single match for Super Kings. Ashwin has been one of many players who adds local flavour to the team, and until the recently-concluded series against South Africa, was India's first-choice spinner.
On Boxing Day, in Durban, Ashwin - perhaps temporarily - lost that title to Jadeja. Super Kings had bought allrounder Jadeja at the 2012 auction, paying more than US$2 million for him after his bidding went into a secret tie-breaker with the now-defunct Deccan Chargers. West Indies allrounder Bravo, who in 2013 set a new record for the most wickets in an IPL season, completes the list.
January 10 is the deadline for the IPL franchises to announce their list of retained players, ahead of the auction on February 12. Aside from retained players, franchises can buy back additional members of their squads at the auction via right-to-match cards. The number of right-to-match cards available to each franchise will depend on the number of players already retained. Since Super Kings have retained five players, they will have one right-to-match card at the auction.
A fixed amount will be deducted from Super Kings' auction purse of Rs 600 million (approx. US$ 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.
In 2011, apart from Dhoni and Raina, Super Kings had retained India batsman M Vijay and South Africa allrounder Albie Morkel. The pair missed out this time, along with former Australia batsman Michael Hussey, who was IPL 2013's leading run-getter. Super Kings tweeted confirmation of their list of retained players late on Thursday night.