Indian Premier League after completion of the first 10-year cycle is set for an all new season. Not just with a new broadcaster, but a host of new rules, regulations, rights and deliverables.
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are back from two-year suspensions, stop-gap Pune Super Giant and Gujarat Lions are out. The heat and hype around the media rights bid has settled down. The franchisees are assured of better revenues and the jumbo of paying hefty annual franchisee fee is off their back. The team owners – CSK and RR included – do not have to pay a franchisee fee from the eleventh season onward.
Indian Premier League (IPL) is out of the way, discussions have begun about the way forward for the league – the teams, retention, matching cards, salary cap. The biggest debate of all has been about the marquee players for the two incoming teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
CSK has already hit the road to sell sponsorship packages. “The response is very good and you may expect some announcements by the next week when the deals are signed,” says a CSK senior official. “Meanwhile, we are waiting to hear from the BCCI on retention policy and other rules. We are eagerly awaiting for the policy and rules about marquee players. You know about our interests. Nothing much can be revealed at this stage,” the official added.
Chennai Super Kings will be looking to reunite with their captain for all the eight season of their IPL existence MS Dhoni, who too has hinted at going back to CSK. Dhoni along with other players from the Pune and Gujarat teams, which have ceased to exist now, are free birds and up for grabs now. But, how the interested teams can pick them is not clear so far.
However, all the teams are keen on retaining their key talent. They are believed to have written to the IPL authorities to continue with the retention policy.
As the franchisees are keenly waiting for the yet to be formed rules, a suggestion for reverse draft has been floating around, Pune Mirror has reported. There are assumptions that the Pune and Gujarat players will be pooled together. CSK and RR will be given the option to pick a certain number of players from the pool. This number is expected to be equivalent to the number of players six other franchisees are permitted retain.
If so happens, CSK stand a good chance to get players like Dhoni and Raina to don the yellow jerseys.
All franchisees are though reportedly not happy about the “privilege” being considered for the two suspended teams.
The situation will only become clear once the BCCI and the IMG officials meet in the last week of September to deliberate on the subject.