Mumbai Indians retain Tendulkar, Bhajji
Mumbai Indians have decided to retain four players Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, West Indian Kieron Pollard and Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga for the next two seasons.
"Mumbai Indians have confirmed that we are retaining two players -- Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh among Indians and two foreign players -- Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga," a Mumbai Indian spokesperson said.
The MI official also claimed that the franchisees have the option of retaining more than one foreigner in their squad as per the decision of the IPL governing council on retention of players.
A media release issued by the BCCI over player retention after the meeting of the IPL GC on September 5 stated: "Up to including four players per franchise may be signed for retention of which only up to three shall be Indian players. The Player must have been included in the franchise's registered squad for the 2010 season.
"The franchise and player must mutually agree to be retained and the player fee to be paid by the franchise to the player for the 2011 and 2012 Seasons."
As a result of MI's decision to retain all four players as permitted, the franchise will have only $4.5 million at their disposal for buying the remaining members for 2011 and 2012 at next month's player auction as its salary cap has been halved.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Dhoni, Raina get the nod
The Chennai Super Kings have also retained four players. The 2010 IPL champions once again showed their faith in inspirational skipper MS Dhoni, along with two most improved cricketers for the national side - Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay.
The Stephen Fleming-coached side also kept South African all-rounder Albie Morkel with them.
But while doing so, both Mumbai and Chennai had already spent half of the $9 million salary cap available to teams for the players' auction.
Image: MS Dhoni
RCB release KP and Kumble
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday announced that they would retain only India's middle-order batsman Virat Kohli for another two years, in the Indian Premier League.
Bangalore, who finished runners-up in 2009, also decided that they would not be retaining the services of India's legendary duo -- Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid.
Robin Uthappa was also a surprise exclusion despite his consistent performances for the Bangalore-based team in the Twenty20 tournament.
England's dashing batsman Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor also didn't find favour with the franchise, owned by Vijay Mallya.
Image: Anil Kumble
Knight Riders favour Gayle
The Kolkata Knight Riders have retained explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle for the upcoming fourth edition of Indian Premier League.
"It's only logical that KKR would retain Gayle. You simply can't ignore the impact he has on a match if he gets going. He has a strike-rate of close to 145 in this format and Twenty20 is all about impact. Also he is an effective off-spinner," someone who closely monitors the proceedings of the Kolkata franchise said on Sunday.
Surprisingly Ganguly was not retained by the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kokata Knight Riders.
Image: Chris Gayle
Warne, Watson to stay with Royals
Rajasthan Royals have retained their captain Shane Warne and Australia allrounder Shane Watson ahead of the 2011 season of the IPL. The franchise is also in negotiations with one or two Indian players ahead of the December 8 deadline for teams to nominate players they wish to keep from going into the auction.
"We are extremely happy to have signed on Shane Warne and Shane Watson," Raghu Iyer, the spokesperson for Rajasthan said.
"Both of them have been an important, crucial part of the Royals. Watson was the Player of the Tournament in year one and Warne's leadership skills are what everybody talks about," he added.
Warne led Rajasthan to an unlikely title in 2008, the IPL's first season.
He was the league's second highest wicket-taker, with 19 wickets at an average of 21.26, while Watson scored 472 runs at an average of 47.20 and a strike-rate of 151.76, and also took 17 wickets at an average of 22.52.
Image: Shane Warne
Gambhir up for grabs
The biggest surprise was Gautam Gambhir is not being retained by Delhi Daredevils.
The opener, currently captaining the Indian team in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has been a phenomenal success in the previous three editions of IPL. Virender Sehwag is the lone player to be retained by the two-time semi-finalists.
Ace spinner Daniel Vettori, Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and South African AB de Villiers also didn't find favour with Delhi.
Image: Gautam Gambhir