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IPL likely to increase player retention, reduce salary cap

Nagraj Gollapudi

December 2, 2013

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

IPL CEO Sundar Raman, chairman Rajiv Shukla, Mumbai Indians team owner Nita Ambani, and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shahrukh Khan at a press conference at the end of the 2012 player auction, Bangalore, February 4, 2012
The wheels are in motion for the IPL auction in 2014 © Associated Press
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Salient points from the Singapore meeting

  • IPL teams could be allowed to retain five players, and they could be given 'right to match' cards in order to buy back more players at the auction
  • The auction is likely to be held on February 12 and 13
  • The salary cap for the 2014 auction is likely to be Rs 600 million (approximately $10 million) and could increase by 10% each year. For the first time, the purse is in Indian Rupees and not dollars
  • If a franchise chooses to retain five players, it will likely lose Rs 390 million from its auction purse
  • The contracts for players retained or signed at the auction will likely be valid for three seasons, with the franchise holding the right to renewal at the start of each of season
  • The number of players in a squad is also likely to be reduced from 33 to 27, and the number of foreign players cut from 11 to nine per team
IPL franchises are likely to have two options available to keep the core of their teams intact ahead of the 2014 season: the usual practice of player retention, and a new system of 'right to match' cards that can be used during the auction. A team is expected to be able to retain up to five players and the IPL has recommended three 'right to match' cards per franchise, which means up to eight players could be retained, salary cap permitting. The auction is likely to be held on February 12 and 13 at a yet-to-be-decided venue.

The franchises were also informed that the 2014 general elections in India will have an impact on the venue for the tournament. Once the Indian government announced the election dates, the IPL will work out a feasible venue for next year's edition, the franchises were told.

The idea of the 'right to match' card was discussed during a two-day IPL workshop in Singapore on November 28 and 29 that was organised by the BCCI. A card would allow a franchise to buy back a player during the auction by simply matching the highest bid. For example, if two or more franchises were bidding for a player who had represented a different team in the 2013 season, then that team's owners could buy back the player if they wanted to by matching the highest bid for him.

During the discussions in Singapore, one suggestion was to bring all the players back into the auction but the IPL was not interested in abandoning the retention policy. Although officials did not specify the reasons, the feeling was that a retention policy allowed certain powerful franchises to hold on to the players that formed the core of their side over the previous seasons.

It is understood that the idea of a 'right to match' card was floated to offset the retention rule, which some franchises felt was detrimental to their chances. Before the 2011 auction, franchises were allowed to retain up to four players from their old squads, but for every player retained, the franchise would lose a certain amount from the salary cap of $9 million available for spending at the auction. For the first player retained, $1.8 million was deducted from the salary cap, for the second player it was $1.3 million, the third $900,000 and the fourth $500,000. However, these were not necessarily the amounts paid by the franchise to the retained players. So a team that kept four players went into the auction with only $4.5 million to spend.

"There were some franchises that did not retain any players, but still ended up paying more money [for four players in the auction] than a franchise that retained four players and paid just half the salary cap," a franchise official said. "In fact these teams [which retained players] obviously paid more money although that was never made public. So that was a perfect way for teams to go to an auction with half the purse and also circumvent the salary cap."

Not all franchises were in agreement about the 'right to match' card, though. "It works for teams where players are asking for a big price [to be retained]," an official who did not agree with the concept said. He felt it was unfair that a franchise, which had not participated in the bidding for a player, could walk away with that player only because of a 'right to match' card, when there were other teams actively involved in the bidding. "If two franchises are locked in a bid to buy a player and then suddenly a third franchise comes and says he has the right to buy the player, you might end up paying more [in order to discourage teams from using the card]."

The salary cap for the 2014 auction is likely to be Rs 600 million (approximately $10 million) and is likely to increase by 10% each year. For the first time, the purse in is Indian Rupees and not dollars. If a franchise chooses to retain five players, it is likely to lose Rs 125 million from the purse for the first player, Rs 95 million for the second, Rs 75 million for the third, Rs 55* million for the fourth and Rs 40 million for the fifth - a total of Rs 390 million, leaving them with Rs 210 million for bidding during the auction.

It is not clear at the moment whether there is a restriction on the number of Indian or foreign players that can be retained. "There is nothing definitive," a BCCI official said. "All five can be Indians or all five can be overseas. Or there could be a mix of both."

According to the official, a higher purse was unhelpful for the smaller teams, as they had lesser money to spend compared to sides like Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings. With the 2014 purse likely to be capped at Rs 600 million, the playing field will be more level because that was the average expenditure of the smaller teams in terms of player payments and operation costs. The salary cap had been $12.5 million (approximately Rs 750 million at current exchange rates) in 2013.

The contracts for players retained or signed at the 2014 auction are likely to be valid for three seasons, with the franchise holding the right to renewal at the start of each of season. The number of players in a squad is also likely to be reduced from 33 to 27, and the number of foreign players cut from 11 to nine per team. Another important change is that all Indian domestic players, who have either played first-class or List A cricket, will be eligible for sale at the auction. Previously only players who had played for India or played a certain number of games for their IPL teams could be auctioned.

All these suggestions and recommendations will now be discussed by the IPL governing council, which has to ratify the changes for them to take effect. The Singapore meeting was the first gathering of IPL officials and franchises since the betting and spot-fixing scandal marred the 2013 season. Ravi Sawani, the head of BCCI's anti-corruption unit, addressed the franchises and gave a presentation on the various corruption-related events in the past two IPLs. Sawani also spoke of the various measures his team would put in place to protect the integrity of both the players and the tournament.

December 3, 2013, 05.50 GMT: This figure was earlier stated as 50 million

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Lagoskrishna on (December 5, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

@ JBSA - I don't understand in your list of retention players you have not mentioned Dinesk Karthick he is the likely to be continued No.3 batsmen for MI.

Posted by Army_rangers on (December 4, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

Well some of u are complaining about CSK,MI,RCB,well i do agree that to some extent mumbai spent more money than necessary.but look at CSK and RCB,it wasnt their fault that best players are in their team.look at gayle,anyone could have taken him at low cost but instead none was interested..same way when kohli was bought by rcb he was less familiar and not in prime form..so it was smart choice rather than big money spent..

Posted by Shubham18 on (December 4, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

1) BCCI should have allowed retention of only 3-4 players - 2-3 Indian players & 1 Foreign player.

This would have given other weak teams a chance to strengthen their line-ups. If a team like RCB chooses to retain Gayle over AB de Villiers, Dilshan, .... then other teams can buy these players in the auction and this would help level the teams.

2) They should have kept the squad limit to 33 and should have also made it mandatory to include a) 3 U-21 players in the squad b) Atleast 4 players from the state Ranji team. c) 2 players from associate teams which may also include ZIM/BAN

3) They could also limit no. of matches played by a player in d league games to 12 out of 14. Maybe allow only 2 players to play all matches. This would give players rest and also make it more interesting strategically.

4) If they want to improve and promote Cricket then they can have 1-2 practice matches for each IPL team vs Associate teams before the start of IPL. Maybe in UAE, Malaysia, USA, etc

Posted by Sekhar_S on (December 4, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

"Retention policy allows POWERFUL franchises to retain players"...the word in caps must be replaced with SMART. We have seen how hitherto unknown players have contributed to the teams's success. Mohit Sharma and Sanju Samson are cases in point. KXP lost the opportunity to build a strong team in 2011 when they went for Adam Gilchrist who was past his expiry date even for street cricket. Instead if they had invested in any of the currently active domestic South Africans or Australians or even a Ranji Trophy leader like Wasim Jaffer or Amol Muzumdar they would have been in a much powerful position today in terms of team strength.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

now no interest in ipl with out sachin!!

Posted by JBSA on (December 4, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

The Players who the teams to watch out for Retentions

CSK: Mohit Sharma, F Du Plessis. M Hussey Compulsory to retain: MSD, Raina, Bravo, Ashwin/Vijay, Jadeja/Morkel

DD: Sehwag, U Chand, M Juneja Compulsory to retain: K Pietersen, D Warner, I Pathan, M Morkel/V Aaron, U Yadav

KXIP: R Harris Compulsory to retain: S Marsh, D Miller, P Chawla

KKR: S Al Hasan, Ryan Ten Doeschate Compulsory to retain: J Kallis, G Gambhir, Y Pathan, S Narine, M Shammi/M Tiwary/E Morgan

MI: D Kulkarni, H Singh, R Dhawan Compulsory to retain: R Sharma, L Malinga, K Pollard, D Smith/M Johnson/G Maxwell, P Ojha/A Rayudu

RR: S Samson, S Binny Compulsory to retain: S Watson, A Rahane, J Faulkner as others are mostly Non International Indians who can be retained by the team

RCB: S Tiwary, V Zol Compulsory to retain: C Gayle, AB de Villers, V Kohli, Vinay Kumar/RP Singh/ J Unadkat, Dilshan/R Rampual

SRH: Q de Kock, A Reddy Compulsory: D Steyn, S Dhawan, JP Duminy, P Patel/A Mishra, K Sangakkara/D Sammy/Perera

Posted by JBSA on (December 4, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

(Contd..) Just think Delhi had Gambhir, Sehwag, AB Devillers, T Dilshan, Shikhar Dhawan, D Karthik, A Mishra, D Vettori and M Tiwary. And they didn't believe in them and went for a major reshuffle. Now Gambhir is leading KKR in a great way and won them a Championship. S Dhawan is the most dangerous Indian Opener. Vettori is the one of the most economical spinner in T20s. AB is in firing hot form. D Karthik is the second best Indian WK-Batsman after MSD. M Tiwary is one of the promising Indian youngster. Same goes with KXIP with Yuvi, Sanga Mahela, Irfan, B Lee, Rajasthan Royals: R Jadeja, Y Pathan, M Morkel. RCB: R Dravid, R Utthappa, M Pandey, J Kallis, K Pietersen, D Steyn, R Taylor, E Morgan and J Ryder. KKR: A Mendis, A Mathews, B McCullum, C Gayle, B Hodge. Deccan Chargers: Rohit Sharma, A Gilchrist, A Symonds, M Marsh, D Smith, RP Singh

These players are star players elsewhere in other teams. So isn't it the mistake of the these team rather than blame CSK, MI and RCB????

Posted by JBSA on (December 4, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

The main complaint is against the heavy weights CSK and Mumbai. But to see both the teams, it is the gradual development and the wise spending has made them Heavy weights. Isn't purse available to all the teams same from the starting? Infact, it was disadvantage CSK, when it started first Auction without a ICON player when Delhi had two. Mumbai and Kolkatta made mistakes with first auction. But teams like Deccan Chargers or Kings XI Punjab never got to know the trick of Auction. When it came the first retention, it was wise move by MI and CSK to retain its core players. Other teams made stupid moves by releasing its star players. But CSK and MI persisted and went with half pursue and made their motive clear. Only CSK, MI and RR really go into the auction with knowing whom the team needs. Oflate, SRH and KKR are getting it. But complaining about the Heavy weight is unjustified though the transfer window helps the mighty money spender. There shd be some strict action towards it (Contd..)

Posted by mmmuthukumar on (December 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

If DD and KXI bid $2.5 Milloin on Raina, CSK will have to let him go. Dhoni, Shikar, Virat, Rohit are the only $2.5 million guys, who will lead their teams. Gambhir might fetch a shade less, So I feel big wigs will not and cannot retain all, Their purses won"t allow that. Watson, Gayle and KP might fetch the max for foreign players.

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