Franchisees: Eight. Cash in hand: ₹422.5 crore. Players to be acquired: Maximum 182. Auction pool: 578 (shortlisted from 1,122). Indians in the pool: 360. These are the simple statistics as the Indian Premier League franchisees will exercise their rights to acquire the players to build their teams for the IPL 2018 season. The two-day IPL player acquisition auction in Bangalore, however, will be a more complicated exercise for each franchise than these numbers.
The strategy among the team is not just to strengthen their citadel, sharper brains will also work for unsettling the rival camps. Kings XI Punjab cricket director Virender Sehwag has dropped a hint. “Say for example, if Bangalore wants to retain KL Rahul and Yazuvendra Chahal, they can exercise only one right to match option. We will (in the auction) push the price for that player to ₹10 to 12 crores. So that they think several times (for securing a balanced team),” Sehwag has stated in an interview with cricketnext.com.
As the franchisee managements are busy working out their finances, combination and permutation, insidesport.co brings to its readers fine details about what options and funds the eight franchisees have at their disposal.
Chennai Super Kings after having secured the return of their captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with trusted lieutenants Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja might find it tough to regain Ravichandran Ashwin. With all the three retentions being capped Indian players, CSK has lost the opportunity to get any other capped Indian player through ‘right to match’. “We will go all out to get Ashwin,” says the franchisees CEO Kashi Vishwanath.
Mumbai Indians, too, like the Chennai Super King have exhausted the best options available to them during the retention exercise. The Reliance Group-owned franchisee has exhausted the all three options to retain the Indian capped players and a minimum of ₹33 crore earmarked for the three retentions.
The Delhi franchisee, looking for the first IPL triumph, has spent wisely to retain Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris and Shreyas Iyer for a total of ₹22.1 crore. Under the IPL player retention rules, a total of ₹ 33 crores is deducted from their player acquisition purse. Delhi will go into the auction with ₹47 crore at their disposal.
In IPL governing council has put a minimum fixed price on player retention. The fixed price is deducted from the franchisee’s player acquisition purse even if a player is retained at a lower value. If a franchisee retains three players, ₹15 crore for the first player, ₹11 crore for the second and ₹7 crore for the third player will be deducted from the franchisee purse. In the event of two retentions the base price is fixed at ₹12.5 crore and ₹8.5 crore respectively. For a single retention, a minimum of ₹12.5 crore go out of the franchisee purse. However, a franchisee is free to strike a deal with a player for more than the base price, as Royal Challengers Bangalore has done in Virat Kohli’s case. In such a scenario, the actual amount committed to the player is reduced from the purse. The base price for an uncapped player is kept at ₹3 crore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is spite of a ₹17 crore deal with Virat Kohli and ₹11 crore for AB de Villiers have spent only ₹29.75 crore on three retentions, including ₹1.75 crore for uncapped Sarfaraz Khan. Still, the franchisee goes into the auction with ₹49 crore after ₹31 crore having been deducted from the total permissible funds.
Kolkata Knight Riders is among franchisees to have the luxury to have a deep pocket and lucrative options to retain at the player auction. Even though ₹21 crore is reduced from the KKR purse for retaining Caribbean Sunil Narine and Andre Russel, KKR has ₹59 crore and three rights to match for Indian players at their disposal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will go into the option with ₹59 crore in hand and choices to match three best bids for up to 2 capped Indians, 1 overseas player or 2 uncapped Indians.
The Kings XI Punjab will be among the top two teams in a position to exercise their best options for the right to match and deep pockets. KXIP as of now have exhausted only ₹6.75 crore for retaining all-rounder Axar Patel, ₹12.5 crore are retained from their kitty under the rules.
Rajasthan Royals have retained their best asset in Australian captain and ICC Test player of the year Steve Smith for the best possible deal of ₹12 crore. ₹12.5 crore are reduced from their purse. The team, like CSK returning to the IPL action after a two-year suspension, has the liberty to spend ₹67.5 crores, with the right in hand to match the best deals for up to three Indian capped players, one overseas player or two Indian uncapped players.
A total of 62 capped Indians and 298 uncapped Indian cricketers will vie for the available slots with 182 capped overseas cricketers, 34 uncapped overseas players and 2 cricketers from Associate Nations.
With ₹2 crore as the highest reserve price, 36 players, including 13 Indians, have opted for the top bracket. Marquee Players R Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Christopher Gayle, Ben Stokes, Kane Williamson, Glenn Maxwell, Joe Root, Mitchell Starc, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Shakib Al Hasan – each priced at ₹2 crore.