Virat Kohli has become the most expensive player in IPL history after being retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore while forking out Rs 17 crore for the Indian skipper’s services. On the deadline day for IPL player retentions for 2018 season, RCB made Kohli one of theirs for yet another season by paying the maximum amount that the league has seen so far. With that, he’s beaten the previous best when Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) had splashed Rs 14.5 crore for England’s Ben Stokes last season.
Also beating Stokes’ valuation from last year are MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma who have been retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) respectively for Rs 15 crore.
But as per IPL rules into player retention, RCB spending Rs 17 crore for Kohli will be counted as the same despite the overall ceiling of Rs 15 crore towards purse reduction on player salaries. For three players retained, in the case with RCB, they’ve been deducted Rs 31 crore from the overall spending tally of Rs 80 crore leaving them Rs 49 crore for the auction on January 27 and 28.
In comparison, CSK and MI have been docked Rs 33 crore for their three players retained and that has left them with a purse of Rs 47 crore and option to add two more players from previous squad by using the Right to Match (RTM) card at the auction.
Other players to have earned the big bucks are David Warner, Steve Smith (Rs 12 crore), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, AB de Villiers (Rs 11 crore) and Sunil Narine, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Rs 8.5 crore) rounding off the top-10 most expensive players from the retentions.
Besides splurging on Kohli, RCB retained de Villiers and surprisingly Sarfaraz Khan while leaving the likes of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul up for grabs in the auction. Sarfaraz has been retained for a salary of Rs 1.75 crore but it reflecting as Rs 3 crore towards the team’s fees paid. (More on RCB’s retentions)
CSK, besides the obvious choice in mercurial captain MS Dhoni, have retained middle order batsman Suresh Raina and a nifty allrounder Ravindra Jadeja. The two-time IPL winners have returned to action after serving a two year suspension handed to them. They, along with Rajasthan, spent two seasons on the sidelines while their place was taken by RPS and Gujarat Lions. (More on CSK’s retentions)
Defending champions Mumbai Indians have kept the pillars of their team strong by retaining skipper Rohit alongside Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. With these three match-changing players, the Mumbai support staff have seemingly done a smart job of keeping in their midst players who they can count on in the long run and have the ability to change things dramatically. (More on MI’s retentions)
Besides the retention of Sarfaraz, another major surprise from the retentions was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) not retaining captain Gautam Gambhir who had led the team to two IPL titles – in 2012 and 2014 – while becoming a cornerstone into the team. It almost appeared that Gambhir and KKR were similar to what CSK and Dhoni are, but this decision may have changed that notion. Instead, KKR have retained spinner Sunil Narine and big hitter Andre Russell who is back in the scheme of things after serving out a one year doping ban. (More on KKR’s retentions)
Only two teams have retained one player each with Rajasthan sticking with Steve Smith and Kings XI Punjab going into the auction with a clean slate having retained Axar Patel. (More on Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab’s retentions)
IPL 2018 PLAYER RETENTIONS
TOTAL PURSE: Rs 80 crore
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah. (Purse Remaining: Rs 47 crore)
Delhi Daredevils: Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. (Purse Remaining: Rs 47 crore)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers Sarafaraz Khan. (Purse Remaining: Rs 49 crore)
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja. (Purse Remaining: Rs 47 crore)
Rajasthan Royals: Steven Smith. (Purse Remaining: Rs 67.5 core)
Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel. (Purse Remaining: Rs 67.5 crore)
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. (Purse Remaining: Rs 67.5 crore)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Purse Remaining: Rs 67.5 crore)