Mumbai, Dec 15: India's limited overs captain MS Dhoni will play for the Pune franchise in the 9th and 10th editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2016 and 2017. He was picked today (December 15) for Rs 12.5 crore in the league's first-ever Players Draft.
For the first time in 8 years in IPL, Dhoni is forced to represent a team other than Chennai Super Kings (CSK). With CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) suspended from the league for a two-year period, the players will have to find a new home. And Dhoni will head to Pune. As per the draft rules, Rs 12.5 crore was deducted from Pune's purse for picking Dhoni.
As Pune bid the lowest amount to win the franchise, they had the right to pick the 1st player from the draft. And they were quick to go for Dhoni.
In their 1st pick, Rajkot opted for left-handed batsman Suresh Raina. In their next turn, Pune chose Ajinkya Rahane followed by off-spinner R Ashwin.
Rajkot picked home boy Ravindra Jadeja and they were also the first to sign up the first overseas player from the draft - Brendon McCullum of New Zealand.
In the 4th round, Pune took Australian captain Steve Smith while his compatriot James Faulkner went to Rajkot.
In the 5th and final picks, Pune opted for South Africa's Faf du Plessis while Rajkot chose West Indian Dwayne Bravo.
Only 10 players were allowed to pick (5 each) and 7 from CSK and 3 from RR was lucky to get a new team today. The rest will go into the auction pool.
Pune and Rajkot won the recent franchise bids from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to replace CSK and RR for 2016 and 2017 seasons. Chennai and Rajasthan will return in 2018.
The 2016 IPL players auction is in Bengaluru on February 6.
Who went where? (Full list of players picked at draft)
1st picks - MS Dhoni - Pune
Suresh Raina - Rajkot
2nd picks - Ajinkya Rahane - Pune
Ravindra Jadeja - Rajkot
3rd picks - R Ashwin - Pune
Brendon McCullum- Rajkot
4th picks - Steve Smith - Pune
James Faulkner - Rajkot
5th picks - Faf du Plessis - Pune
Dwayne Bravo - Rajkot
Final team line-ups after the draft
Pune: MS Dhoni (India), Ajinkya Rahane (India), R Ashwin (India), Steve Smith (Australia), Faf du Plessis (South Africa)
Rajkot: Suresh Raina (India), Ravindra Jadeja (India), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), James Faulkner (Australia), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)
Prices for each player in order of who they pick (This is not the actual money the player gets. He will be paid the same amount what he was getting from previous franchise)
1. Rs 12.5 crore (Dhoni, Raina)
2. Rs 9.5 crore (Rahane, Jadeja)
3. Rs 7.5 crore (McCullum, Ashwin)
4. Rs 5.5 crore (Smith, Faulkner)
5. Rs 4 crore (Du Plessis, Bravo)
Total: Rs 39 crore