New Delhi: It's now safe to assume that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is already a Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player. The Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council on Wednesday announced that IPL franchises will be allowed to retain up to five players, thus confirming Dhoni's return to his favourite franchise.
This decision was taken during the IPL Governing Council's meeting with the all-powerful Committee of Administrators (CoA) in Delhi today. In the meeting, the contentious players' retention policy was discussed, and came to the conclusion that –
An IPL franchise is eligible to secure up to five players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention (Pre Player Auction) and Right to Match (RTM) (During the Player Auction).
- A maximum of either 3 retention or 3 RTM at the discretion of the franchises
- If there is no retention before player auction then franchises can have up to 3 RTM
It's also concluded that the player pool available for CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for retention/RTM will be the players’ who played for them respectively in IPL 2015 and who were part of Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Gujarat Lions (GL) squads in IPL 2017.
And out of the five players, three should be Indians. If a franchise opts not to retain any player, then, it will get three matching cards at the auction.
Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin were other major Indian players in the CSK stable. Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith were international stars who have huge fan following in Chennai.
The meeting was chaired by IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla.
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. In July early this year, the BCCI confirmed that both CSK and RR would be back for 2018 IPL, and replace RPS and GL.
It's worth noting that Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of CSK owner and once a BCCI heavyweight N Srinivasan, was the central figure in the scandal. The scandal led to the formation of the Lodha Committee, and the downfall of Srinivasan, if we may say, then the birth of committees like CoA.
During CSK's exile, Dhoni, who helped CSK to two IPL titles, turned up for the Pune-based franchise.
During the meeting, IPL Governing Council also released the slab for salary hike for the next three seasons to – INR 80 crore for 2018, INR 82 crore for 2019 and INR 85 crore for 2020, with a minimum spend cap of 75 percent of the salary.
Besides, the IPL Governing Council also increased the 'Minimum Auction Reserve Price' for both the uncapped and capped players.
A decision of squad size was also taken during the meeting. Each squad can have a maximum of 25 players (with up two overseas players) and a minimum of 18 players.
The player auctions for the next edition is tentatively scheduled to be held in February.
The 2018 edition of IPL is expected to be even bigger with the return of former champions CSK and RR. Besides, the IPL also got a windfall of 16,347.50 crore thanks to its media rights, bought by STAR India.