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Kings XI Punjab logoMumbai: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise  Kings XI Punjab(KXIP) will go into the players' auction with the biggest purse among all the franchises, after they on Monday announced the list of cricketers retained for next year's tournament.

Punjab have the maximum money of Rs 23.35 crore for the auction among the eight teams. Their current squad strength is 18, according to a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement.

"The window for the franchises to retain players for the VIVO Indian Premier League 2016 season closed at 1700 hrs IST (December 15, 2016)," the BCCI said in a media release.

"As many as 140 cricketers, including 44 overseas players, have been retained by the VIVO IPL franchises for 2017 season," it added.

India's One-Day International (ODI) captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also retained by his franchise Rising Pune Supergiants.

Dhoni led the side last year and is expected to continue as the skipper in the next edition. India discard Suresh Raina was retained by Gujarat Lions.

Pune have retained 16 players while Gujarat too have the same number of cricketers in the squad.

Kevin Pietersen and Dale Steyn are among a host of big names who were released by their respective IPL franchises. Australians Mitchell Johnson, George Bailey and Peter Handscomb have also been left out.

The Rising Pune Supergiants opted not to retain Pietersen as well as Australian trio Bailey, Handscomb and Scott Boland, but fellow Aussies Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Adam Zampa and Usman Khawaja were retained, as per Cricket Australia.

South African Steyn has been left out by the Gujarat Lions. Aussies James Faulkner, Aaron Finch and Andrew Tye have been retained by the Lions, as have been Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Bravo.

Steyn confirmed earlier this month about his unavailability for the tournament as he recuperates from an elbow injury.

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