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The 11th season of Indian Premier League is all ready to unfurl and the respective teams are all ready to book the players of their liking during the IPL auction on January 27. While the last year's winning team Mumbai Indians are likely to use their buyback cards for their skipper Rohit Sharma and star player Hardik Pandya, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have their own plans.
All teams are directed to submit for the player retention by January 4 and most of them are certain about the players they would like to keep. Delhi Daredevils are likely to retain Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer but the Mumbai Indians will use their 'Right To Match' card for keeping the best performing players of last year including Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah.
A senior BCCI official on Monday speculated, " Skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention having led the team to three IPL titles. Hardik Pandya is one of the big match-winners and the interesting third retention would be Krunal Pandya." The newly married Pandya brother will reportedly to retained for merely Rs 3 crore instead of Rs 7 crore due to him being an uncapped player.
Aussie skipper Steve Smith is likely to be retained by Rajasthan Royals while Chennai Super Kings will keep the team's skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL superstar Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Sunrisers Hyderabad is also likely to retain David Warner and the uncapped player Deepak Hooda for Rs 3 crore.
In another development, the recently retired player Ashish Nehra and former Indian coach Gary Kristen have been approached by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to coach their players during the celebrated tournament. While New Zealand's Daniel Vettori will retain his position as the head coach, Trent Woodhill and Andrew McDonald's roles have been altered to make space for Nehra and Gary.
Trent will reportedly take up the duty of batting talent development, analytics and fielding coach, McDonald has been assigned the charge of bowling talent development and analytics. In a statement, RCB said, "South African cricketer Gary Kirsten and former Indian fast-bowler Ashish Nehra have come on-board as Batting and Bowling Coach, respectively. Additionally, Kirsten and Nehra will also play the role of mentors for the team during the league."
Vettori is extremely excited to coach the talented team with Nehra and Gary. He expressed, "I am excited to welcome Gary and Ashish to the coaching team for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both of them bring a wealth of experience in cricket, which the team can learn from immensely. We look forward to an amazing season."
English player Ben Stokes, who was banned from playing on the field after initiating an alleged fight outside a nightclub in Bristol last September has been granted a 'no objection certificate' by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to play in the IPL 2018. The cricketer was signed for a record fee of £1.7 million ($2.3million) by the Rising Pune Supergiants last year.