Auction rules are out, IPL teams can retain five players

DLF IPL Auction 2014

DLF IPL Auction 2014

The Indian Premier League is to conduct a fresh auction for the new season, but an overhaul of the teams is unlikely as new rules released on Tuesday allow franchises to retain popular faces. The IPL governing council has allowed the franchises to retain five players with an added option of ‘Right to match’ (first right of refusal). Earlier, there was a talk that the Season 7 of the cash-rich league could see new-look teams as all players would be available for auction.

Simply put, the rules work perfectly for bigger teams and perhaps that is the reason smaller teams have criticised the guidelines.

In all probability, MS Dhoni will continue to be the face of Chennai Super Kings flanked by Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Mumbai Indians can retain skipper Rohit Sharma and Royal Challengers Bangalore can have Virat Kohli leading the squad.

The auction will be held on February 12, and if necessary, on February 13. To balance the payment structure for both Indian and foreign players, the fee for all players will be calculated in Indian rupees. The measure has been taken considering the huge fluctuation in the
dollar rates.

Not all teams are happy with the decision to increase the number of players who can be retained to five (not more than four capped Indians). They say it has been done to favour the bigger teams (read richer teams).

“There is a dearth of Indian capped players and by allowing five players to be retained, the big teams will have the cream of the Indian players,” said a senior official of a franchisee, who did not want to be quoted.  “The strength of the team depends mainly on the seven Indian players…It is done to favour the good teams; it ensures that the weaker teams never recover.”

Another official complained about the way the ‘right to match’ (joker card or first right of refusal once bidding is over) numbers have been decided. “Why after allowing a team to retain five players, they should be given another joker card. On the other hand, a team which doesn’t wish to retain has been given only three joker cards.

“How can you reward (the bigger teams) more and more? The player regulation must be more tight. That is when the league can improve.”