A defunct franchise for the past couple of years, the two-time IPL and Champions League Champions Chennai Super Kings are all set to make a return to the mega event after serving a two-year ban due to their owner’s alleged involvement in corrupt practices. Chennai despite making a return after two years has been given a chance to retain the same number of players which the other teams are entitled.

They have decided to retain former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and out of favour India international Suresh Raina ahead of the IPL 11 auctions. As per reports from reliable sources, the team management is looking to pick either of the two spinners among Ashwin and Jadeja as it’s 3rd retained player.

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Speaking to the Hindu on Friday, CSK’s whole time Director K George John said:

“We have decided on Dhoni and Raina. We are yet to take a call on the third cricketer. The franchises have to send their list to the BCCI before January 4, 2018.”

If CSK does retain three players then Rs 33 crores will be deducted from its total purse of Rs 80 crores for the auction. There were no doubts about the fact that CSK would retain Dhoni but Raina’s inclusion wasn’t actually on the cards especially due to his indifferent form in the recent past. However, there is no denying the fact that Raina is a T20 legend and boasts of an exceptional record in IPL cricket.

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Raina has amassed 4,540 runs at an average of 34.14 and a staggering strike rate of 139.09 and is also the highest run-getter of the tournament. Despite his indifferent form, the CSK team management has immense faith in his abilities which will see him captaining the yellow brigade for one more time.

John said:

“There is Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, and Andrew Tye. We are following tournaments such as the Big Bash to keep a watch on their form.”

CSK is keen to include Tamil Nadu players to have a flavour of their culture.

“We want to, but it also depends on how the auction plays out and their prices. Tamil Nadu players are in demand and the franchises know all about them.”

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