IPL Auction 2018: Who will buy Gautam Gambhir, Chris Gayle, Ajinkya Rahane & Shikhar Dhawan?

Virat Kohli became the most expensive cricketer in the IPL history after RCB retained their captain for Rs 17 crore

All the eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on January 4 announced the names of the players they retained for the upcoming IPL season. The retention list turned out to be a surprise for the Indian cricket fans as they witnessed many unexpected announcements during the event.

Indian captain Virat Kohli became the most expensive cricketer in the IPL history after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) retained their captain for Rs 17 crore. Besides Virat, RCB retained South African AB de Villiers (Rs 11 crore) and young Sarfraz Khan (Rs 1.75 crore).

Former Indian captain MS Dhoni is back in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after they retained him for Rs 15 crore. CSK, which is making a comeback in IPL after facing a ban for about 2 years following the spot-fixing scandal, also retained their key players Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja for Rs 11 crore and Rs 7 crore, respectively.

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Delhi Daredevil (DD) retained three players Rishabh Pant (Rs 8 crore), Shreyas Iyer (Rs 7 crore) and South African all-rounder Chris Morris (Rs 7.1 crore). Besides, DD also announced former Australian skipper Ricky Pointing as their new head coach.

Mumbai Indians (MI), as expected, retained skipper Rohit Sharma (Rs 15 crore) along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya (Rs 11 crore) and death-overs bowling specialist Jasprit Bumrah (Rs 7 crore). Rohit guided the Mumbai franchise to IPL titles in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) retained only two of their key players, David Warner (Rs 12 crore) along with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Rs 8 crore).

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) retained just left-arm spinner Axar Patel (Rs 6.75 crore) for the next season.

Shah Rukh Khan-co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) retained the West Indian duo of Sunil Narine (Rs 8.5 crore) and Andre Russell (Rs 7 crore).

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KKR stunned its fans after they sent their skipper Gautam Gambhir into the auction pool despite the gentleman guiding them to lifting the IPL trophy twice (2012 and 2014).

KKR, however, will now have Rs 59 crore in their kitty after retaining just two players. They will use this amount for the IPL players’ auction, which will take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

The other surprise came in the form of star batsman Ajinkya Rahane after RR sent him back into the auction pool.

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SRH also sprang a surprise by releasing Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan and Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan.

West Indian power-hitter Chris Gayle is also on the ignore list. Virat Kohli-led RCB did not retain him.

Now, the question arises who will buy Gautam Gambhir, Chris Gayle, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rashid Khan and other players who were not retained by their franchise?

Here’re the possibilities:

Franchises can take them back using RTM

A franchise can also retain their players during the auction by matching the highest bid. For instance, CSK, despite retaining their three-star players, has two Right-to-Match (RTM) options left, which they can use during the IPL auction on January 27 and 28.

To understand this, let’s take an example: KKR hasn’t retained its skipper Gautam Gambhir and let’s assume that during the IPL auctions Gambhir gets the highest bid from DD for say Rs 5 crore. In this case, if KKR wants Gambhir, they have the right to match the price of the highest bid and retain him.

But, interestingly, a franchise can retain only up to three players before the auction and two by RTM.

A whole new franchise

Players like Gautam Gambhir, Chris Gayle and Shikhar Dhawan might play wearing new jerseys. Franchises would not let go of players like Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan among others.

Remain unsold!

This would be the worst scenario for players like Gautam Gambhir, Chris Gayle, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan if they remained unsold.