MS Dhoni to Pune, Suresh Raina to Rajkot in IPL dispersal draft

Given first choice at Chennai and Rajasthan players, Pune also selected Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis and Rajkot took Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo on Tuesday.

MS Dhoni shown during an IPL match in October 2012 with Chennai Super Kings. Alexander Joe / AFP
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Associated Press

India's limited-overs captain MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will play for new franchises Pune and Rajkot for the coming two seasons of the Indian Premier League.

Pune and Rajkot are temporary replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are suspended for two years over corruption and spot-fixing in 2013.

Players from Chennai and Rajasthan were made available in a draft Tuesday for the two teams to pick five players each at the salary they were getting with their old teams. Dhoni was earning $2 million (Dh7.3m) per season at Chennai while Raina used to get $1.5 million.

Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin were also selected by Pune while Rajkot took Ravindra Jadjea, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo. They were selected among 50 players made available by Chennai and Rajasthan.

The remaining players from Chennai and Rajasthan will be available to Pune and Rajkot in an auction to be conducted in February.

Last week, New Rising Consortium-owned Pune and mobile phone manufacturer Intex-owned Rajkot were selected as the replacement franchises following a reverse-bidding process in which bidders were asked to discount their annual revenue share of $6 million.

New Rising gave up that revenue entirely and also committed to pay $2.4 million per year to the BCCI. Intex will pay $1.5 million per year.

Among the most notable names to be left on the table were Shane Watson, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair.

Chennai have been one of the standard-bearing franchises since the league began in 2008, appearing in six of the eight finals, including last year’s. They won successive titles in 2010-11. Dhoni had been the face of thei franchise since the founding.

Pune – playing as Pune Warriors India – competed in the IPL from 2011-13 before disbanding. Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Deccan Chargers have also competed in the past before being disbanded.

Rajasthan and Chennai are expected to return from their ban arising from spot-fixing allegations for the 2018 season.

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