Bangalore, Jan 20: Royal Challengers Bangalore, managed to retain the West Indies dashing opener Chris Gayle in their squad for the upcoming IPL season 5 starting on April 4, 2012.
Also Read: IPL 5
Last year, RCB team management picked Gayle as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes, Australian pacer who had to be ruled out for the entire season after being injured.
However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Chris Gayle, ignored by the West Indies Cricket board took this opportunity to avenge his run thirst and teach the Windies Board a lesson.
Gayle, was on a one year contract with the Vijay Mallya-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore team for IPL 4 but after the retaining him for IPL 5 it is learnt that, he has signed a two year contract with the Mallya-owned franchise. He was not picked during the last auction due to lack of clarity on his availability.
However, his inclusion mid season created a flutter as he happened to be RCB's lucky charm. Having retained Gayle after a hiatus, who was being chased by Mumbai franchise, RCB hope for better fortunes this time around in IPL season 5.
According to IPL rules, each team can sign a total of 11 foreign players only, which was ten last season.
Gayle had been signed for $560,000 last season and he will continue to get that amount for the next two years. This, means RCB will go into the auction with a deduction of the above amount from the total of $2 million. Though sources hint that Gayle would earn 'much more, for endorsement purposes'.
Since Gayle is out of the IPL fray, India's all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is expected to get the best bid in the auction, having made a comeback to international cricket.
According to the new list released by IPL, England spinner Graeme Swann has the highest base price of $400,000 while Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, who hasn't played in the IPL so far, has been included in the list at a base price of $300,000. James Anderson, who remained unsold during the auction last year, also has a base price of $300,000.
Now, it remains to be seen how the franchises get the maximum out of the remaining amount as they have a limitation in terms of money this time around, as there are many players worthy of a berth.
IPL season 5, will feature 9 teams and 76 matches spread over 54 days starting from April 4. The inaugural match of the fifth season will be played at M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.