New Delhi: In an all-important Indian Premier League Governing Council meeting, on Wednesday announced that franchisees could retain a maximum number of five players from their previous squad.
The news came as a major boost for two particular teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), who are making a comeback after two years of suspension over spot-fixing. This meant that the two suspended teams could purchase players who they lost to interim IPL teams such as Gujarat Lions and Pune Supergiant during the ban.
With few teams opposing the retention policy for the CSK and RR, MS Dhoni’s comeback to the two-time IPL champs was lingering in doubt. But the GC meet has paved the way for CSK to retain their hero. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman could also be handed the captaincy, given his successful stint with the club.
“We are very happy about it. But we haven't applied our mind to it right now but we are extremely happy about it. (On MS Dhoni coming back to CSK as captain) It is a very obvious choice but we have not applied our mind beyond that," George John, Director of CSK was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
"An IPL Franchise is eligible to secure up to 5 players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention (Pre Player Auction) and Right to Match (RTM) (During the Player Auction)," BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a statement after the meeting.
"The player pool available for CSK and RR for retention/RTM will be the players' who played for them respectively in IPL 2015 and who were part of RPS and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017," he added.
RTM refers to a franchise's right to match the highest bidder for a player. CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended owing to the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, which shook the league to its core and allegedly involved not just players but also some to officials of the two franchises.
The IPL Governing Council also hiked the salary budget of the franchises from Rs 66 crore to Rs 80 crore for the next year's auction, tentatively set for February. "The minimum spend will be 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season," the BCCI stated.