Steve Smith & David Warner retained by Indian Premier League sides

David Warner
Warner scored 641 runs in the 2017 Indian Premier League

Australian batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner are among the players who have been retained for the 2018 event by their Indian Premier League sides.

Smith, who scored the most Test runs in 2017, will play for Rajasthan Royals as Warner, the top run-scorer in 2017's IPL, stays with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes could be part of the tournament's player auction on 27 and 28 January.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has allowed Stokes, 26, to play.

He is currently unavailable for international selection while the police investigate an incident which saw Stokes arrested outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

But, after justifying the £1.7m that Rising Pune Supergiants spent to secure him with a string of performances that culminated in him being named player of the tournament, he is likely to be in demand once again.

Rising Pune Supergiants are not taking part in the IPL this year and therefore do not have the opportunity to retain Stokes.

Each team can choose to re-sign up to three of their 2017 squad before the players are subject to bids from other teams.

India captain Virat Kohli and his predecessor MS Dhoni have been kept on by Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings respectively. It means Kohli has become the most expensive player in the IPL, with Royal Challengers retaining him for $2.67m (£2m).

Their international team-mate Rohit Sharma will remain with champions Mumbai Indians while South Africa batsman AB de Villiers joins Kohli in Bangalore.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed coach of the Delhi Daredevils.

Tymal Mills, Chris Woakes, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Chris Jordan were among the other England players to compete in the Twenty20 tournament last season.

After playing for eight successive years, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen missed last year's tournament and has confirmed that he will again in 2018, citing a packed schedule of Twenty20 events.

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