Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir among those who go into auction poolof IPL-4


Mumbai: Stalwarts Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, as well as in-form opener Gautam Gambhir, were not retained by their franchises for 2011 and 2012 IPL seasons and will go into the players’ auction pool to be bought by interested teams.

Kumble, who led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last two seasons of the T20 League, and Dravid have been set free for the January 8-9 auction by RCB, who have kept only Virat Kohli, on the strength of his stupendous form for India in the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand.

With the deadline for player retention ending on December 8, former India captain and Bengal icon Ganguly was also not retained by under-performing Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders. Only swashbuckling West Indian opener Chris Gayle has found favor with KKR’s owners, according to informed sources.

The surprise decision is that of Delhi Daredevils not retaining Gambhir, who scored back-to-back ODI hundreds against the Kiwis, and continue his partnership with Virender Sehwag, who is the lone player to be retained by the two-time semi-finalists.

The two franchises, who played in last season’s IPL final — champions Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians — have retained their full quota of players.

CSK, who also lifted last season’s Champions T20 League in South Africa, have kept their faith in India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay and Proteas’ all-rounder Albie Morkel.

MI expectedly did not allow batting maestro and Captain Sachin Tendulkar, feisty offie Harbhajan Singh, hard-hitting West Indian batsman Kieron Pollard and Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga to go into the auction pool.

According to a spokesperson for Rajasthan Royals, who are fighting a legal battle against the BCCI for its decision to terminate its franchise agreement, leg spin legend Shane Warne and all rounder Shane Watson have been retained.

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