Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees can now spend up to Rs 80 crore on player acquisition.
In a meeting of the IPL governing council, the salary cap for players available to teams was increased from Rs 66 crore in 2017 to Rs 80 crore. The purse will increase to Rs 82 crore in 2018 and to Rs 85 crore for the 2020 edition. All teams will have to spend at least 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season.
The meeting also resolved the issue of player retention. While some teams were in favour of the right to match (RTM) method, others preferred the retention method. Each team can now retain up to five players using a combination of the methods. Teams can retain a maximum of three players using either method. So if a team does not retain any player before the auction, it can still use the RTM method for three players.
The player pool available for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for retention/RTM will be the players' who played for them respectively in the 2015 edition of the tournament and who were part of the Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017. This means that CSK can have their most recognised players M S Dhoni and Suresh Raina back for the 2018 season. Both teams were banned from the IPL for the 2016 and 2017 seasons on account of matching-fixing and betting. Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant were brought in to replace the two teams. CSK and RR will be returning in 2018 after serving the ban.
Of the five players retained, each team can have a maximum of three Indian capped players, a maximum of two overseas players and a maximum of two uncapped Indian players. The governing council also increased the reserve price for players available in the auction. Earlier, the reserve price for uncapped players was Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh, depending on the group they belonged to. These have been raised to Rs 20 lakh, Rs 30 lakh and Rs 40 lakh, respectively.
In case of capped players, those in the Rs 30-lakh and Rs 50-lakh categories will now enter the auctions with a base price of Rs 50 lakh and Rs 75 lakh, respectively. The reserve price for categories with Rs 1 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2 crore base prices remain unchanged.
The salary of players retained before the auction has also been altered in parts. Earlier, there was a blanket policy on the salary for the first player retained and those following him. However, with the combination of the retention and RTM methods coming into play, the governing council has provided new guidelines depending on the number of players retained pre-auction.
For teams retaining three players before going into the auction, the first player retained will receive a salary of Rs 15 crore, the second player retained will receive a salary of Rs 11 crore while the third player’s salary will be Rs 7 crore. If a team retains two players before the auction, the first player will be paid a salary of Rs 12.5 crore while the second retained player will be at a salary of Rs 8.5 crore. If a team retains just one player, the salary for that one player will be Rs 12.5 crore. Uncapped players retained before the auction will receive a salary of Rs 3 crore. However, the deduction from salary purse in case of retention will be determined on the basis of the guideline price or actual price, whichever is higher.
Each IPL squad has to have a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 25 players, with not more than eight overseas players.