CSK it is believed that would press hard to retain their four key Indian players including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Whether or not a third auction in seven years sounds bizarre, and its clauses intricate, most franchisees, especially the under-performing ones would doubtless espouse it. Whereas teams such as Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab would seek a thorough overhaul, Chennai Super Kings, the most prolific outfit thus far, and Mumbai Indians would press the retention button.
As many as five players, but no more that four domestic players, could be retained. CSK it is believed that would press hard to retain their four key Indian players—skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina—who form their nucleus. Among the foreigners, they are most likely to hold all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, ahead of Mike Hussey and Faf du Plessis. And they might employ the “right to match” option to retain Murali Vijay. “It’s more or less straightforward that CSK would retain Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin and Raina, despite the amount that will be deducted from their salary cap,” said an IPL official.
But the more players franchisees retain, lesser would their spending power be in the auction. So if CSK retain four players, they would lose `350 million from the salary cap of `600 million, implying that they can spend only `250 million in the auction. “I don’t think CSK would risk them. If the likes of Dhoni and Jadeja are up for bidding, they will have to meet competition from others. They might end up even losing them, which they don’t want” he added.
Hence, CSK will play it safe. “Even for the last big auction, they wanted to retain as many players as possible. It’s not just a question of performing better with a settled unit but also a matter of keeping identity among their support base, which CSK have always given priority to,” he said.
Like CSK, Mumbai too for push to retain as many players as possible. But unlike CSK, the star-studded franchisee would be beset with some dilemma. For instance, they can’t keep in possession all three of Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson and Kieron Pollard. Johnson, with his Ashes winning sparkle, could be a shoo-in while the toss-up could be between Malinga and Pollard. Among the domestic players, skipper Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Dinesh Karthik could be maintained, while they might use the “right to match” provision for either Ambati Rayudu or Pragyan Ojha.
Hours ahead of submitting the retention list to the IPL chairman, Mumbai are still mulling over various options. “Rohit and Johnson are more or less certain to be retained. But the rest has to been seen. There are a lot of quality players in the side,” said an MI official. However, both sides will have to dish out enormous sums to keep their preferred players. “The clause only says that a specific sum will be deducted from the salary cap of the franchisee. It has nothing to do with the money that a franchisee has to give a player. And the retained Indian players will no doubt demand more money,” he said.