Before joining the Rising Pune Supergiant for a period of two years when the Chennai side was suspended, Dhoni captained the Super Kings from 2008 to 2015, leading his side to two IPL titles in 2010 and 2011, as well as a Champions League 2010 title.
The Indian Premier League Governing Council along with 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.
With the retention and RTM cards applied, it will technically mean that the two interim franchises, Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions, did not essentially exist itself, which implies that Dhoni is automatically a CSK player.
According to report by the Indian Express, one franchise was reportedly in favour of retaining as many as five players, while another proposed retention of one player per team.
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CSK and RR are returning to the IPL fold after serving two years ban following the infamous spot-fixing scandal which rocked the cash-rich league in 2013. Super Giant and Lions are no longer part of the IPL because they were brought in as temporary replacements while Super Kings and Royals served their suspensions. For the 2018 IPL season, the salary budgets for the IPL teams have also been increased to 80 crores from 66 crores. He further said MS Dhoni's inclusion in CSK is subject to the player and the franchise itself.
The player auctions for the 2018 edition of the tournament are slated to be held in February.
A maximum of either three retentions or three RTM at the discretion of the franchises has been allowed. If only two players are kept back prior to the auction, they will be docked Rs 12.5 crore for the first player and Rs 8.5 crore for the second (or actual amount, whichever is higher), and if only one player is retained, they will lose Rs 12.5 crore (or actual price, whichever is higher) from their Rs 80-crore purse.
A decision of squad size was also taken during the meeting.
And out of the five players, three should be Indians. STAR India bagged the global rights for a five-year period for Rs 16,347.50 crore.