How can Chennai Super Kings, who return to IPL next year after serving out a two-year suspension, be allowed to retain players? That was the main bone of contention, raised by one of the teams, during the important IPL governing council meeting held in Mumbai. Three teams didn’t want any player retentions while the rest clamoured for it. It is learnt that CSK and Rajasthan Royals wanted first right over the players they had signed in 2015 but at least one other franchise wanted the Indian cricket board to explain how that could be allowed.
The house also debated the retention numbers, the salary caps, total number of teams in the tournament and the venue of auction in the meeting attended by the team owners and Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who attended the meeting through Skype, suggested to go ahead with ten IPL teams instead of eight in coming season. However, all franchises were unanimous that BCCI should stick to eight teams.
The main bone of contention revolved around the player retentions, and in particular CSK’s wish to get first right over the players they signed in 2015.
The Indian Express understands that three teams – Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab – didn’t want any player retention, instead desiring that all players be placed in the auction pool. It wasn’t a view agreed by the other teams.
Mumbai Indians wanted to retain 5 to 6 players, CSK wanted 4, Delhi Daredevils 3, Royal Challengers Bangalore 5, and Sunrisers Hyderabad wanted 1.
A couple of franchises also wanted the auction to be held in London but the idea was rejected by the others.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla later stated that the idea was to invite the actual owners of the team (of the IPL) and solicit their views on the IPL after 10 years.
“There were number of issues including number of players, salary cap of the players , the playing squad, and the total number of teams – all these issues were discussed other than the venue for auction and the dates of auction and the inaugural ceremony, all these things had been discussed at length,” Shukla stated.
However, when Shukla was quizzed on CSK and RR returning and which players they can retain? He was guarded, “Right now I can’t say anything, because once we take the decision about retention and right to match after then I can tell you. The decision will be taken depending upon the players as well as what the teams agree on.”
The IPL chairman stated that the majority of the franchise were of the view that retention or right to match should be given and that they would keep that aspect in mind before arriving at a decision.
As far as how many players will be allowed to be retained, Shukla said: “There were different opinions and we will take into account the majority”. With reference to the suggestion to allow 10 teams in the tournament, Shukla confirmed that suggestion was made: “I think by a fortnight we will finalise, eight teams or ten teams we also discussed about that, the majority of the franchise view that we will stick to eight teams only.”
Women’s T20 game during IPL
The Indian cricket board is also planning to have a four women teams play Twenty20 games during the Indian Premier League play-offs. These games will be played as double headers during the IPL play-offs. These games will be conducted by the BCCI and not by the IPL franchises.
“It will give exposure to the girls, we will mostly have four women T20 teams. The idea is to generate more interest in women cricket,” sources in the BCCI informed.