Dhoni for new Pune franchise, Raina in team Rajkot for IPL 9

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India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the top draw in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 draft in Mumbai on Tuesday and was picked up by the Sanjeev Goenka-owned Pune franchise at the stipulated price of Rs.12.5 crore.

Left-hand batsman Suresh Raina was picked up by the Rajkot franchise owned by Intex Mobiles. The Rajkot team also successfully bid for ‘home’ all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (Rs.9.5 crore), New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (Rs.7.5 crore) and Australian all-rounder James Faulkner (Rs.5.5 crore).

The ninth season of the IPL will begin on April 9, 2016.

“Excited to play for the beautiful vibrant city — Rajkot in @IPL. Looking forward to have new teammates and support from the people of Gujarat,” Raina tweeted on Tuesday after the draft.

Pune opted to take right-hand batsman Ajinkya Rahane as their second choice player and his India teammate off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as the third preference.

The Pune and Rajkot franchises were included in IPL for a period of two years following the two-year suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals after being found guilty of breaching IPL regulations.

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