CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings’ request to allow them first right to refusal of players contracted to them in 2015 has seen opposition from Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. It is understood that during the meeting of all the IPL team-owners/representatives with the IPL governing council, BCCI office-bearers and the Committee of Administrators (CoA), Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan opposed the move, stating that it would deprive the other franchises the chance to bid for the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Interestingly, Rajasthan Royals, which like CSK is returning to the fold after a two-year suspension, has appealed to the IPL GC to do away with player-retention policy. They want all the players to go to the auction pool.
Among other things that remained unanswered in the meeting was the number of teams for next season. The majority of the franchises were of the view that the tournament should stick to eight teams as against the 10 floated as an alternate option by the governing council. Similarly, the number of players who can be retained is also unsolved as few franchises batted for four-five, while a few wanted a maximum of three.
“Most teams want to continue with the brand and that will only be possible if they retain the players, so the majority view is to retain between three-five players. There is still some distance we have to travel before we arrive at a conclusion because Rajasthan Royals are not even in favour of retaining players and want a new team. They want all the players to be thrown into the auction pool and start afresh. So we will deliberate a bit more before taking a final call,” a governing council member, who attended the meeting in Mumbai, told Express.
CSK has been asking for a retention policy or a draft system that was used when Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant were made to pick players from the two suspended franchises in 2016. This system will hand CSK and RR an opportunity to retain their players with the highest-paid franchise getting to pick first. However, with Rajasthan, Kolkata and Punjab opposing this, it will require at least the rest of the franchises to support CSK’s demand or the franchise risks losing its iconic player MS Dhoni to the auction pool.
“Gujarat and Pune got the opportunity because it was a reverse auction. But this isn’t similar, and moreover if CSK and RR had similar requests, then it would have met with some support. But right now it is only CSK. So that has added to the confusion. If other franchises get retention, then it will be unfair on CSK too. So we need to find a balance on that,” the official added.