Icon status for Sehwag but not Laxman
The eight franchises of the Indian Premier League have agreed to make Virender Sehwag, the India opener, an "icon" player for the Delhi Daredevils team. However, the same status - which guarantees a salary 15% higher than the next best in the team - was not given to VVS Laxman as the franchise from his home city, Hyderabad, withdrew the application.
Both applications had been cleared by the IPL's governing council, but they had to be cleared by the eight franchises as they were not a part of the original IPL team tender. Sehwag now joins Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai), Rahul Dravid (Bangalore), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata) and Yuvraj Singh (Mohali) as icon players.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the franchises in Mumbai on Tuesday evening ahead of the players' auction.
The IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, also clarified that the franchises would only be able to sign up two current Australian players each, and that their participation this season would be subject to their commitments with the Australian team. Thirteen current Australian players have signed up, as have three who have retired.
He told reporters that all Indian players on the IPL pool have signed contracts to be part of the multi-million-dollar Twenty20 extravaganza, which starts on April 18.
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has come on board, the IPL Commissioner said.