Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday retained 13 players including skipper Virat Kohli, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers and star New Zealand pacer Tim Southee, and also released a few players ahead of the Indian Premier League auctions to held next month.

Among those released by the Bangalore-based outfit are a few a star players including Brendon McCullum, and all-rounders Corey Anderson and Chris Woakes. RCB also welcomed all-rounder Marcus Stoinis ahead of the next edition of the cash-rich league.

RCB traded Stoinis for Rs 6.2 crore with Preity Zinta co-owned team Kings XI Punjab. RCB also gave away batsman Mandeep Singh to KXIP for Rs 1.4 crore.

South Africa’s wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock was sold to three-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.8 crore.

Apart from Virat, AB and Southee, the franchise retained 10 others — Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

“For the next IPL season, we have a 3-pronged player selection strategy. The first vector is to have a very strong combination of the core team who can consistently deliver great performance on-field,” RCB Chairman Sanjeev Churiwala said while talking about the retained squad.

“Secondly, we want to invest in more Indian talent including more local all-rounders. Lastly, we want to invest in the future and hence will actively scout for Under-19 talent who we can nurture and provide a strong platform like RCB to grow,” Churiwala added.

Virat Kohli’s side also released Sarfraz Khan besides the trio of McCullum, Anderson and Woakes.

Retained list of RCB: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Tim Southee, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali and Nathan Coulter-Nile.