Mumbai and Chennai in favour of player retention
Interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin might have his hands full over the issue of player retention ahead of next year's tournament. While the majority of the franchises want all the players to go into the auction, Cricinfo has learnt that the BCCI, along with the Mumbai and Chennai franchises, would like the teams to retain seven players.
According to one franchise official with knowledge of Thursday's meeting between the BCCI and franchise owners, the board announced that seven players - four Indian and three foreign - would be retained by the teams. However, most of the franchises immediately objected to the decision, arguing that in an earlier meeting in Bangkok last year they made it clear they did not want any retention. Therefore the IPL couldn't unilaterally go against the majority of the franchises. Chennai and Mumbai are in favour of retention because they apparently want to retain their respective icon players - MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar.
The BCCI responded to the franchises concerns by saying it would review the situation and get back to them. If the teams were to retain seven players, the two new franchises would be at a big disadvantage as presumably the top 56 players would then be unavailable to them.
The board also sought the teams' opinions on the number of matches to be played because it is concerned about player fitness after India's disastrous performance in the ICC World Twenty20. In this regard, the franchises were unanimously committed to retaining the present system where each team plays home and away against all the other teams. "The IPL is not cricket," a franchise official said. "IPL is commerce. If the player is tired or unfit somebody else who is fit and fresher would play. You can't play around the business model for that."
Another franchise official expressed the hope that the situation would be resolved in the next few days because the board understands these issues affect all the teams. Each franchise had one-on-one meetings with the three-member committee of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, which will then present the IPL governing council with its recommendations for the league.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo. Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor