Coming as a bit of a shocker, several star players have not been retained by their respective IPL teams like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir. Meanwhile, other premier players like Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Andrew Symonds also didn't make the cut. However, Virat Kohli was the surprise retention for the next three seasons. Wednesday, Dec 8, was the deadline for teams to name the players they wished to retain. The main factors for the choices were apparently form, brand appeal and age.
Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Charges and Kolkata Knightriders were the only teams not to retain a single player, while all the others held back at least one. Mumbai Indians, who finished runner's up in last year's edition of the League, retained the maximum of four players in Sachin Tendulkar, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh and in effect parted with half its $9 million salary cap available to the teams. Meanwhile, Chennai took back Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay and Albie Morkel, while Rajsthan Royals named Shane Warne and Shane Watson in their side and Delhi Darevils retained only Virender Sehwag.
In accordance with the auction rules for IPL 4, teams can retain up to four players, with no more than three Indians. The retained players - who must have been part of the franchise's registered squads for the 2010 season - will be valued at $1.8 million for the first player, $1.3 million for the second, $900,000 for the third and $500,000 for the fourth.
Owner of the Royal Challenger Bangalore Siddhartha Mallya, pointed to financial logic as his reason for not retaining more than one player. "You must realise that with retention, a big chunk of your budget gets taken away," said Mallya. " Mumbai and Chennai have kept four players, which means that half their budget is gone. It finally comes down to how much money one was going to lose."
It seems the only veterans kept out of the auction are Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. Perhaps their inclusion comes on the back of strong performances in the IPL seasons so far. Murali Vijay and M S Dhoni probably made the cut because of their large fan-base, while Virat Kohli is young, ambitious and on a terrific run with the bat. Keiron Pollard and Lasith Malinga have impressive Twenty20 credentials, as has Virender Sehwag, which is the reason they were kept in.
It's not surprising that Kings XI Punjab haven't retained any of their players. The franchise is coming off a terribly poor campaign last season where they just won just one match. Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Charges didn't have successful outings last year either, so they are not keen to retain any of the players from a losing combination. It will be interesting to see how the auction goes and if players originally from one team will land up playing for others.