The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday clarified that players will have the final say in choosing a franchise, not the team owners.
In the wake of the reported decision of Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey to decline the offer of Royal Challengers Bangalore to play for them in the fourth edition, Governing Council member Niranjan Shah said that arm-twisting of cricketers by franchises is unfair and the player has the final say.
Some of the franchises are apparently livid with the Governing Council rule on uncapped players since they do not have a strong catchment area to scout for players.
Teams like Pune Warriors and Kochi are facing problems in recruiting uncapped players. Kochi has a limited area to operate as Tamil Nadu, Bangalore and Hyderabad have their own franchises. Pune's problem is that they cannot poach into Mumbai Indians' territory.
"We are keeping a close watch as it is a very complex situation. But at the end of the day, the player should have the final say. Franchises have full rights to scout for players in their catchment area, but uncapped players have the right to negotiate," said Shah, who is also the board vice-president.
Royal Challengers are planning to lodge a complaint with the Governing Council after Pandey, who was the first Indian to score a century in the IPL, reportedly rejected their offer and is negotiating with Sahara Pune Warriors. Pandey was released by Royal Challengers last year.
As per IPL rules, uncapped players can be paid a maximum of Rs.3 million. The 21-year-old Pandey, however, is eligible for Rs.2 million, which is for cricketers who have played up to five seasons.
Pandey was not fortunate like his India under-19 teammate Saurabh Tiwary, who by the virtue of three ODIs, was auctioned for a whopping $1.6 million by the Royal Challengers.
Pandey has already presented his case to the IPL, and Shah said the Governing Council is closely monitoring it.
"We are also keeping a close watch on any underhand dealings between the players and the franchises. All agreement will be tripartite, involving the board, the player and the franchise," he said.