Royal Challengers Bangalore have retained Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers ahead of the 2014 IPL auction. The franchise has also announced the appointment of Daniel Vettori, who played for Royal Challengers in previous seasons, as head coach and Allan Donald as bowling coach.
Trent Woodhill, who is currently David Warner's personal batting coach, was named the franchise's batting and fielding coach for the season.
January 10 is the deadline for the IPL franchises to announce their list of retained players, ahead of the auction on February 12. Each franchise is allowed to retain up to five players and 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 Royal Challengers retained three players, they will have one right-to-match card at the auction.
A fixed amount will be deducted from Royal Challengers' auction purse of Rs 600 million (approx. US$ 9.6 million, at the current exchange rate) for each of three players retained: Rs 125 million for player one, Rs 95 million for player two and Rs 75 million for player three. That will leave the franchise with Rs 305 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.
India's Kohli, who captained Royal Challengers in 2013, is one of the leading limited-overs batsmen in world cricket at the moment, while West Indies' Gayle is unarguably the most destructive Twenty20 batsman on his day. Last season Gayle slammed a world-record 175 not out off 66 balls against Pune Warriors, on his way to an aggregate of 708 at 59.00 - he was No. 2 on the tournament's run charts. Kohli slotted in at No. 3, with 634 runs at 45.28. South Africa's de Villiers, who bats lower down the order for Royal Challengers, scored 360 runs at 36.00. The trio forms an intimidating batting core for Royal Challengers.
Former New Zealand captain Vettori, who has been plagued by injury of late, had led the team before Kohli. He replaced Ray Jennings, who had coached Royal Challengers over several seasons. Vettori's appointment is unique, given he is still an active player - he is currently playing for the Brisbane Heat Australia's Big Bash League. Donald, who is South Africa's bowling coach, had worked with the now-defunct Pune Warriors in IPL 2013. Woodhill, an Australian, is a batting and fielding specialist, having worked with Pakistan and New Zealand and several domestic sides. He is credited with moulding Warner at New South Wales, and also coached the Melbourne Stars and Delhi Daredevils.
"I am happy to be retained by RCB and it's great to be back in Bangalore," Kohli said. "I look forward to working closely with Dan Vettori. Allan Donald's experience will add a lot of value."