At least six players should be retained - Gilchrist
With uncertainty surrounding the rules of next year's IPL auction, Adam Gilchrist, who has captained in each of the six seasons of the tournament so far, hopes there is a reasonable level of player retention for the next edition of the IPL.
For the second time since its inception in 2008, a sweeping auction is due with a majority of the players expected to go under the hammer, but Gilchrist doesn't want teams to have to build from scratch. Gilchrist, who retired after this year's IPL, was leading a settled (but now defunct) Deccan Chargers side in the first three-year cycle, and led them to the title in 2009, but in 2011 he was recruited as Kings XI Punjab's captain and had to work on building a team all over again.
"I'd like to see at least six players being able to be retained," he said, while addressing the media in Bangalore to introduce the first recipient of the University of Wollongong's Bradman Scholarship. "Whether that's a split of three overseas and three local players, I'm not sure, but I think with at least six players you get a core group to work with. And, it's crucial that we don't take for granted the most important people in all this and that's the spectators. We can't expect them to support teams that have chopped and changed so much. That level of loyalty needs to be there."
Gilchrist has captained 74 out of 80 matches played and enjoyed several highs, foremost being reviving the Chargers from a wooden-spoon finish to winning the IPL the very next year and holding the record for the fastest century in the tournament until 2010.
He believed the mismatch among various IPL teams can be traced, at least partly, to the auction set-up and hopes the governing body can provide a more even playing field this time around.
"The auction system, as it currently stands, doesn't seem to have the capacity for each team to turn up and be on a level playing field," he said. "There's definitely been a couple of teams, being Mumbai [Indians] and Chennai [Super Kings], that have had no fears of using up the full capacity of that salary cap and plus more when it comes to the blind bidding at the end, if two franchises are still in the hunt. I think in any tournament you'd like to see even competition and you hope that there's consistency for everybody.
"It's obviously up to the owners of the franchises whether they utilise the full salary cap but the evenness in a competition needs to be maintained and that's a great challenge for the governing body. It's difficult when there are big corporations bidding against small syndicate groups of owners."