New Delhi: Defending champions Mumbai Indians, the formidable Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are three teams who have exhausted all their five retentions available for the seventh edition of the cash-rich IPL as the franchises on Friday submitted their list to the Governing Council.
Almost all the established India players have been retained by their respective franchises. CSK predictably retained skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and West Indies` Dwayne Bravo.
Mumbai Indians went with their champion skipper Rohit Sharma, senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga and talented batsman Ambati Rayudu.
Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson will in all likelihood be picked up with `Right to Match` card while Dinesh Karthik has also got the boot.
Royal Challengers Bangalore had retained their captain Virat Kohli, Jamaican Game-Changer Chris Gayle and explosive South African ODI and T20 skipper AB de Villiers.
Rajasthan Royals retained Australian Shane Watson, who will lead the side in IPL-VII along with left-arm seamer James Faulkner along with India internationals Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny. The franchise also retained talented India colts wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who did well for the franchise in the Champions League T20.
Kings XI Punjab retained hard-hitting South African left-hander David Miller and talented Ranji team opener Manan Vohra. Vohra is another uncapped player to be retained.
Kolkata Knight Riders retained their skipper Gautam Gambhir along with mystery spinner Sunil Narine for the next edition of the cash-rich league.
Delhi Daredevils unanimously decided against retention of their existing player going into the Indian Premier League (IPL7) auction.
The team management explaining the decision said "it was the unanimous decision of the management with the focus of building a fresh team that the fans would be proud of".
Mumbai Indians expectedly retained five players including skipper Rohit Sharma.
Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson will now be favourite to be obtained through `Right to Match` cards that the franchise can exercise during the two-day auction on February 12 and 13.
"The formidable combination of these five players - Rohit, Pollard, Malinga, Bhajji and Rayudu - forms the nucleus of Mumbai Indians. They have exemplified the spirit of Mumbai Indians and are match-winners in their own right," Nita Ambani, owner of MI, was quoted as saying in a press release.
"With the retention of the core players, Mumbai Indians look forward to build a stronger, well-knit team and share the joy of an enthralling and entertaining performance with its ever-growing fans in the coming season," she further added.
Dinesh Karthik is another player who has missed out on retention as Rayudu being a specialist batsman and his ability to do a decent job behind the stumps tilted the scales in his favour.
As far as Malinga is concerned, he has been a `Game Changer` for MI at the death overs and the possibility of some of the matches being played in Sri Lanka may have prompted the team management to take a call in the slinger`s favour.
Mumbai Indians have had phenomenal success over the last four years, both on and off the field, emerging as one of the most successful and followed teams.
As a favorite sports team, Mumbai Indians is closely followed by 4.2 million fans across the globe. Brand Mumbai Indians was ranked No.1 cricket club in India and 146th among the 250 best sports brand in the world (BrandFinance pls, UK) 2012).
The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders have retained their captain Gautam Gambhir and mystery spinner Sunil Narine.
Gambhir has led the team to IPL glory in 2012 and is again set to lead the team for the fourth straight season while Narine has been one of the biggest assets for the Kolkata franchise.
KKR CEO Venky Mysore said, "We are delighted that we have managed to retain two of our key players. We hope to build a competitive and exciting squad. The challenges of salary cap deductions and the retention rules did not allow us to retain more of our original team, who made us proud over the past three years."
KKR will have 38 crores of salary cap space and two retention cards going into the auction in February.