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IPL franchises can retain five players

Calcutta: IPL franchises will be allowed to retain up to five players ahead of the 2014 auction, and have the option of buying back additional members of their squads at the auction via ‘right to match’ cards, according to the rules released on Tuesday.

The IPL governing council finalised the Player Regulations for the 2014 edition of the tournament, after a series of discussions on Tuesday.

The auction will be on February 12 — and carried over to February 13, if required — at a venue yet to be decided.

The ‘right to match’ essentially gives a franchise the first right of refusal to its players, allowing it to buy its player back after other franchises have completed the bidding process for him. For example, if Mumbai Indians have already retained five players but want Player X, they merely have to wait till the bidding in the open auction for Player X is over and match the highest bid offered for him.

The number of ‘right to match’ cards available to each franchise will depend on the number of players already retained. A franchise retaining between three and five players will have one ‘right to match’ card, while a franchise retaining up to two players will have two ‘right to match’ cards; those not retaining any player will have three cards to play.

In all, combining players retained before the auction and those for whom the ‘right to match’ is exercised, a franchise cannot retain more than four capped India players.

According to the BCCI statement, the regulation says: “If the franchise chooses to exercise the ‘right to match’, the franchise will take the player for the amount of the final bid that had been made in the player auction, no further bidding by any other franchises is possible and franchises may take no more than four capped Indian players via a combination of retention prior to the auction and the ‘right to match’.”

The salary cap for franchises is set at Rs 60 crore for 2014. All players, including uncapped Indians, will go into the auction.

Indians will be paid in rupees starting from the 2014 season, while overseas players have the option of choosing the currency in which they are paid. Players will be paid an additional 10 per cent of their IPL fee, if they play in the Champions League T20 for their franchise.

At the meeting, among the areas deliberated upon were players’ contracts, squad compositions and the retention of players in advance of the 2014 auction.

After a series of discussions, the IPL Governing Council came up with a number of regulations related to players’ contracts, squad compositions and the retention of players in advance for the auction.

“A franchise may sign up to a maximum of 5 players (either capped or uncapped, no more than four of whom may be capped Indians) who were in its squad in 2013, including those who were unavailable during the season and those who were taken as temporary replacements,” a BCCI statement said.

Regarding the salary cap, the governing council said the franchises will be charged Rs 12.5 crore, Rs 9.5 crore, Rs 7.5 crore, Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 4 crore, respectively, for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth capped players retained. It would be “irrespective of the IPL league fee that is agreed between the two parties and which is set out in the player contract.”

Apart from the cricketers who are retained in advance, all other players will have to enter the 2014 player auction process if they want to play in the IPL in 2014, the release said.

Regarding squad composition, the governing council said: “Each squad must include no less than 16 and no more than 27 players, of which up to 9 may be overseas players and no more than 4 overseas players in the XI for any match.”

Though there is “no minimum quota for catchment area players”, the governing council said: “Under-19 players must have played either first-class or List A before signing for IPL.”

According to the Player Contract regulations, cricketers with one year term with a franchise will have the option to extend for either one or two additional years but the option must be exercised on or before December 15 in each year.