Indian Premier League 2011 September 5, 2010

Next three IPL seasons to comprise 74 matches each

Cricinfo staff

Two fundamental issues concerning the 2011 IPL season - the tournament format and player retention - have finally been resolved by the league's governing council, after months of uncertainty following the addition of two new franchises. The next three seasons of the IPL will have 74 matches each, the format designed to reward the most consistent teams during the league phase of the tournament. The 2011 season will begin five days after the World Cup, which ends on April 2.

The governing council also decided to allow franchises to retain four players in their squads, the rest going into the auction scheduled for November. The franchises' spending power for a squad of 30 players has been capped at $9 million.


In each of the next three seasons, the IPL will comprise 70 league matches and four playoff games. The ten teams will be split into two groups of five, but will be ranked together in one composite league table. The change was necessary due to the inclusion of two new teams, Pune and Kochi, from the next season. An extension of the current home-and-away format would have stretched the season to 94 matches, which had prompted concerns of player burn-out. Franchise owners were also reluctant to reduce the minimum number of matches their team would play each season. These constraints have led to a convoluted format.

League phase
Every team will play the same number of league games (14, seven home and seven away) as in previous seasons with the following break-up: each team will play the other four in its group both home and away (eight matches), four of the teams in the other group once (four matches, either home or away) and the remaining team in the other group twice, both home and away. A random draw will decide the composition of the groups as well as who plays whom across the groups once and twice.

The teams that finish first and second in the league table will contest the first playoff, which is effectively a semi-final (Game A). The teams that finish third and fourth will play each other in a knockout that is effectively a quarter-final (Game B). The loser of Game A will play the winner of Game B in a match (Game C) that will decide the second finalist that will play the winner of Game A in the grand final. This playoff format was previously used in New Zealand's domestic one-day tournament last season.

Player retention

Each of the eight franchises that participated in 2010 can retain up to four players, only three of whom can be Indians. The retained players must have been part of the franchise's registered squads for the 2010 season, and will not be part of November's auction.

The franchise, and the player it wishes to retain must come to a mutual agreement regarding the retention and the fee for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. However, irrespective of the actual fee agreed upon by the franchise and the player, the franchise's salary cap will be reduced by fixed amounts.

If a franchise decides to retain four players, it will be charged $4.5 million per year and will have only $4.5 million to spend on other players, compared to the $9 million available to a franchise that retains no one. Also, the size of the squad is capped at 30 players.

Ahead of the auction in November, the two new franchises, Pune and Kochi, will also be allowed to sign up to four players from a list of players who were not part of any of the other eight franchises in the first three IPL seasons. However, if either Pune or Kochi sign players ahead of the auction, their salary cap will also be reduced by the same amount as the salary cap for existing franchises retaining players.

All the other international capped players, as well as other players who have played 75% of their side's IPL matches in 2010, will be part of the auction.

Player regulation

A franchise can have up to ten overseas players in their squad but only four can be on the field during a game. The player contracts that will be signed ahead of the 2011 season will be valid for two years, with a right of extension for the third year. All players who are part of a franchise's squad will come under the salary cap.

Player contracts

Another change is that the BCCI has decided to take more control of players' IPL contracts, though a new policy has not yet been decided on. "All player contracts will now be managed by BCCI and signed by BCCI along with the franchise and the player," the board said. "No player contracts can be signed until [the new policy is in place]."

Revised catchment areas

The IPL has changed the catchment areas for the existing franchises because of the addition of two new teams from the 2011 season. Teams have to include four players from their catchment area in the squad of 30.

  • Mumbai Indians: Mumbai, Baroda
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore: Karnataka, Goa
  • Deccan Chargers: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa
  • Chennai Super Kings: Tamil Nadu, Railways
  • Delhi Daredevils: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal
  • Kings XI Punjab: Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Kolkata Knight Riders: West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur
  • Rajasthan Royals: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Saurashtra
  • Pune Warriors: Maharashtra, Vidarbha
  • Kochi: Kerala, Services, Madhya Pradesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vinod on September 9, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    @KAIRAVA Slight disagreement with your selection. I would prefer Morgan for Uttappa in Bangalore and Shaun Marsh for Brett Lee in Punjab.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    the format is too messed up its so damn confusing they shud hve made 2 groups of 5 the top 2 teams from both groups qualified into semis and so on

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    Being a great cricket fan, i am dissapointed with new IPL rules.. THis rule is biased..few franchise owners wants in favour of 4 retaining players... Sachin and gavaskar suggested 7. How this could benifit two new teams... BCCI secretary Srinivasan is owning a team, obiously he would fix matchs..he outsted Modi and fixed umpires last time.... THis IPL is dancing for BCCi top guns... this big tournament should be fair and should be handled by professionals, rather than politicians and business men...

    Definately it will loose its repetion this time with issues.. Players will not play gud in worldcup thinking about next IPL.. Get rid of bloddy corrupt politicans and bring some gud old cricketers to manage...

  • Sanket on September 8, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    The cap on domestic player salaries will ensure that more money will go to foreign players and less to Indian ones. I don't think that this a good idea. Why is there cap on team spend on players and domestic player wages but minimum limit on new franchisees?

    Indian domestic players have been robbed in broad daylight. The ICL attracted good talent by paying good money. To counter that, BCCI had to raise the per dime payment for Ranji players. With the ICL gone, the BCCI is again squeezing the domestic players to maximize profits.,

  • MUJAHID on September 8, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    With this kind of rules the most loss is for kkr coz they have players like sourav, tiwary, agarkar and many more almost useless and costly

  • Senthil on September 8, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    The clause is "CAN RETAIN" 4 players, not "MUST RETAIN" 4 players. The most worthy players get retained if their franchises feel their worth is great. The more players a team retains, the less money it has for the auctions. If a team doesn't retain anybody it has the money power to buy new players! This is fantastic!

  • sachin on September 8, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Great,now Tendulkar & other Indians can opt out of WC to keep themselves fresh for IPL rofl

    How does the IPL benefit world cricket or Indian cricket for that matter? NO,IT DOESN'T, it only benefits the franchise owners & even though players earn more,Indian Cricket is losing as it's most talented players are satisifed by the money they earn in IPL & don't care about performing for the country anymore. The sooner the Indian public realizes that IPL is only going to harm Indian Cricket in the long run,the better for them.Some've already realized it while some still don't get it but hopefully they will pretty soon. I think T20 fans should switch to Baseball since that's perfect for people who just want to a couple of hours worth frenzy of ball-smacking & they should leave Cricket alone to REAL Cricket-fans.Cricket USP is a contest between bat & ball which is non-existent in T20 so even if it becomes popular in other countries,in the long run,they'll switch to Baseball anyway.

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Ganguly also loses matches all by himself, like he used to, for india, 50 off 100 balls: self defeating!

  • Kairavan on September 8, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    @nair_ottappalam: Since very few are discussing about the composition of teams other than KKR ,MI, CSK, I would present my choices for player retention in these teams. 1. KINGS XI PUNJAB - Sangakkara, Brett Lee, Yuvraj, Irfan Pathan. 2. DELHI DAREDEVILS - Warner, AB de Villiers, Sehwag, Gambhir. 3. RAJASTHAN ROYALS - Warne, Tait, Yusuf Pathan, Naman Ojha. 4. DECCAN CHARGERS - Gilchrist, Symonds, Rohit, Pragyan Ojha. 5. BANGALORE ROYAL CHALLEGERS - Kallis, Ross Taylor, Kumble, Uthappa. To complete the set, I also feel the 3 most discussed teams will retain the following set of players. KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS - Gayle, McCullum, Ganguly, Murali Karthik. MUMBAI INDIANS - Pollard, Malinga, Tendulkar, Harbhajan. CHENNAI SUPER KINGS - Hayden, Bollinger, Dhoni, Raina

  • Kairavan on September 8, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Being a Kochi fan and assuming, the existing IPL teams retain their 2 best overseas players, I would like to have Thissara Perara, Eoin Morgan, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Graham Napier, Andy Blignaut & AB McDonald as my overseas players in Kochi team. They would be a great buy.

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