New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is likely to return as a Chennai Super Kings player in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League. Dhoni was the skipper of Chennai Super Kings since the inaugural edition of the IPL from 2008 till 2015. Under Dhoni’s stewardship, CSK won two IPL titles in 2010 and 2011. The team also played in the IPL final in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015. 

IPL 2018: Franchises Allowed to Retain 5 Players For Upcoming Season

IPL 2018: Franchises Allowed to Retain 5 Players For Upcoming Season

Dhoni moved to Rising Pune Supergiant after CSK was banned for two years as the team’s former principal Gurunath Meiyappan was found to be involved in betting activities related to the T20 league during the 2013 season. Rajasthan Royals (RR) was the other IPL team to be banned for the same duration after the betting ring was busted.

Dhoni also boasts of an impressive batting and wicketkeeping record in IPL. The swashbuckling cricketer from Ranchi in Jharkhand has played in 159 IPL matches scoring 3,561 runs off 2,604 balls at an average of 37.88. His strike rate is 136.75 with 70 not out being his highest score and he has remained unbeaten on 49 occasions. The batsman-wicketkeeper has 17 fifties to his credit in the IPL. He has also hit 251 fours and a mindboggling 156 sixes while his work behind the stumps, too, has been noteworthy. Dhoni had carried out 30 stumping and has taken 76 catches.

The IPL Governing Council and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) met in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss IPL Player retention policy, salary cap, player regulations and other related issues. The player pool available for CSK and RR for retention/RTM will be the players’ who played for them respectively in IPL 2015 and who were part of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017. 

IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils Matches May Get Shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Due to Delhi's Smog

IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils Matches May Get Shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Due to Delhi's Smog

According to the guidelines, an IPL franchise can secure up to five players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention (Pre-Player Auction) and Right to Match (RTM) during the player auction. The player auctions for the next IPL is scheduled to take place in February 2018.

A maximum of either three retentions or three RTM at the discretion of the franchises has been allowed. But if there is no retention before the player auction then the franchises can have up to three RTM. Irrespective of player retention or RTM, a franchise can have a maximum of three capped Indian players, a maximum of two foreign players and a maximum of two uncapped Indian players. Each franchise team will have a maximum of 25 players (up to eight foreign) and a minimum of 18 players.