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IPL 2018: Ponting returns as Delhi coach; Dhoni, Virat retained

Image credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

New Delhi: Australian great Ricky Ponting has been appointed as the coach of the Delhi Daredevils, as announced by the franchise’s CEO Hemant Dua on Thursday. Ponting previously had coached the Mumbai Indians when they won their second IPL title in 2015 and also had stayed at the helm of affairs in 2016.

The three-time World Cup winning skipper earlier had also played for Mumbai and Kolkata Knight Riders in the competition. The former right-handed batsman will be assisting Australian head coach Darren Lehman in Australia’s T20 tri-series against New Zealand and England slated to be played in February.

IPL retentions

Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was retained by the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL retention ceremony on Thursday. He would be joined by left-handed Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who too have been retained by the two-time champions ahead of the IPL 2018.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli along with Proteas star AB De Villiers have been retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). A third retention was made by them in the form of the young Sarfaraz Khan, who is a handy performer with the willow. RCB team director Amrit Thomas said, “Virat and AB retain themselves. In Sarfaraz, we wanted to invest in youth as he is a phenomenal player.” Surprisingly, the Bengaluru based franchise didn’t retain West Indian Chris Gayle and sent him back to the auction pool.

Three-time champions Mumbai Indians have retained their skipper Rohit Sharma along with star performers for India in the form of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. Owner Akash Ambani said, “Rohit and MI are synonymous while Hardik and Bumrah are special for us. We are happy that we were able to retain some players. Hardik and Bumrah are pillars of our franchise.”

Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had won the title in 2016 also retained their skipper David Warner along with India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Speaking on the retentions, team mentor VVS Laxman said, “It was a great opportunity to retain some players. We want to pick impact players who can take team forward. Warner and Bhuvaneshwar are impact players and impact is the right word for SRH.”

Kolkata Knight Riders, who had tasted IPL success under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir haven’t retained his services for the upcoming IPL. Instead they have decided to invest on the West Indian duo of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, both of whom had been star performers for the men in yellow and purple in the cash-rich league.

Delhi Daredevils on the other hand chose to invest more on the Indian youngsters and thus have retained the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. Also, they have retained South African all-rounder Chris Morris who had performed well for them in the tournament.

Hemant Dua said, “Ricky Ponting has been appointed as head coach and we are going with the idea of having continuity. We have retained two youngsters and the whole team will be built around them. Chris Morris is a top all-rounder.”

Rajasthan Royals, who along with Chennai Super Kings are making a comeback to the tournament after a two-year hiatus have retained one player each. While Rajasthan have retained the services of Australian skipper Steve Smith, 2014 IPL finalists Kings XI Punjab have decided to invest on all-rounder Axar Patel.

A franchise gets to spend a total of ₹33 crores for three capped players where they get to spend ₹ 15 crore for Player 1, ₹ 11 crore for Player 2 and ₹ 7 crore for Player 3. A franchise with two retentions would get to spend ₹ 12.5 crore for Player 1 and ₹ 8.5 crore for player 2. Franchises retaining just one player could spend ₹ 12.5 crore.

But Virat Kohli alone was retained for an amount of ₹17 crore, which coincidentally is also his league fee.

(Image credit-The Times of India)

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