The "salary cap for the season will be $9 million (Rs 41.8 crore, for the entire squad)" per team, in the 2011 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but a team can end up spending more and get away with it if it has deeper pockets.
Under new rules, a team can retain upto four of the players it registered in 2010 and irrespective of how much it pays them, $4.5 million (Rs 20.9 crore) will be deducted from its purse if it retains four players.
On one hand, it means that a team is discouraged from retaining four players because it loses half its money on them with a maximum of 26 more to buy. On the other, it means that a team can spend more than $4.5 million on those four players and still have $4.5 million more to buy the other players it wants.
Explaining the new rule, a member of the IPL governing council accepted that a "team may or may not" spend more than $ 9 million, when asked whether the rule allows team/teams to exceed the stipulated amount. This means that, in theory, the richer teams can legally violate the salary cap.
A release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India said: "Irrespective of the actual Player Fee to be paid to the Player, the Salary Cap for the Franchise shall be charged: $1.8m pa (Rs 8.3 crore) for the first player so retained, $1.3m pa (Rs 6 crore) for the second player so retained, $0.9m pa (Rs 4.2 crore) for the third player so retained, $0.5m pa (Rs 2.3 crore) for the fourth player so retained."
"To us, the more important point is that retaining players is going to cost the teams dear because they wouldn't be left with much if they retain four," said the IPL governing council member, who refused to be identified. How the teams react to the other part of the story should be interesting to see.
IPL-IV to start five days after WC
With Kochi and Pune taking the team count to 10, the number of matches was increased to 74 unlike the 60 in the previous three editions. Though the dates were not fixed yet, IPL-IV will begin in April, five days after the 2011 WC.