New Delhi: Player retention in the Indian Premier League has always been a controversial issue. A lot of the smaller franchisees maintain it's a practice that benefits their big-budget counterparts, and in a market hit by the fall of the rupee against the dollar and the worldwide recession trend, the rich simply get richer, and the poor get poorer.
But given the revenue and interest that the league generates, it has always seemed recession-proof. And Friday saw more of the same. It was deadline day for the retention of players for IPL-VII, and the surprise was that even the smallest-budget team in the league, Rajasthan Royals, kept their full quota of five players.
According to the BCCI, 24 players were retained by seven teams at a total cost of Rs 205.5 crore, which has been deducted from the combined salary cap of Rs 420 crore. The Delhi Daredevils chose not to hold on to any of their players. The amount deducted is not necessarily equal to the fee agreed between the player and the franchise.
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This means that with a maximum of 27 players allowed per team, the amount left for the franchises to buy up to 192 players is just Rs 274.5 crore.
As expected, the bigwigs – Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians – utilised the retention policy the fullest, letting go of Rs 39 crore each from their salary caps of Rs 60 crore each. Both of these teams have retained a maximum of four players each ahead of the 2011 auction as well for a cost of $ 4.5 million each out of the then salary cap $ 9 million per team.
While Chennai retained the core their team by holding back M.S. Dhoni, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, Mumbai kept Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard along expected lines. Surprisingly, though, they also chose to retain India’s out-of-favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Ambati Rayudu, and let go of in-form Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson.
The Royals sprang a surprise by retaining five players, including two uncapped Indians – Sanju Samson and Stuart Binny – which deducted Rs 37.5 crore from their salary cap. The others to stay put were Aussies Shane Watson and James Faulkner, and star India batsman Ajinkya Rahane.
Meanwhile, the Daredevils, who have had two awful seasons in the three years, retained no one.
There was talk that some combination of David Warner, Kevin Pietersen and Virender Sehwag could be retained, but the GMR-owned franchise decided to wipe the slate clean and build afresh.
Royal Challengers Bangalore announced on Thursday that they were retaining their three biggest stars – Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers, while it was clear that Kolkata Knight Riders would keep Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine. This has proved to be the case. SunRisers Hyderabad have retained Shikhar Dhawan and Dale Steyn while Kings XI Punjab have kept South African David Miller and uncapped Indian batsman Manan Vohra.
Under the new 'right to match' rule, the only franchise that'll have three of these 'joker' cards will be the Daredevils, since they didn't keep any of their players. Chennai (only for a foreign player), Mumbai, Rajasthan and Bangalore will have one 'joker' card each while the other three franchises will have two such options.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.