Virat Kohli was already one of the highest paid players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before the IPL Player Retentions, which was held in Mumbai on Thursday, but his salary with the Royal Challengers Bangalore received another boost as the franchise shelled out Rs 17 crore to retain the Indian skipper, making him the most expensive IPL player in terms of league fee. According to earlier figures released by the BCCI, Kohli was being paid Rs. 15 crore by RCB. MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been retained by Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, respectively for Rs. 15 crore each but Kohli has still managed to stay ahead of his India ODI teammates.
Meanwhile, there were not too many surprises in the IPL Player Retentions as the franchises largely stuck to projected paths.
As expected, CSK retained Dhoni along with Suresh Raina (11 crore) and Ravindra Jadeja (7 crore). Rohit Sharma has been a revelation for the Mumbai Indians and as expected the stylish right-hander was retained along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya (11 crore) and pacer Jasprit Bumrah (7 crore).
While RCB shelled out 17 crore on Kohli, they also retained South African star AB de Villiers for Rs. 11 crore and Sarfaraz Khan for Rs. 3 crore (uncapped player).
Kolkata Knight Riders decided against retaining star captain Gautam Gambhir but kept West Indies duo Sunil Narine (12.5 crore) and Andre Russell (8.5 crore).
While most expected Delhi Daredevils to go into the main auction with their full purse, they sprang a surprise by retaining Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris and Shreyas Iyer.
Rajasthan Royals retained just one player -- Australian captain Steve Smith, meaning Ajinkya Rahane will go into the auction pool.
Sunrisers Hyderabad also threw a surprise by releasing Shikhar Dhawan and retaining David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.