The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) decision to allow the existing eight Indian Premier League franchises to retain upto four players has caused an uproar among the teams.
It's common knowledge that six of the eight team owners preferred to have all players going into an auction pool. At the same time, it's also a fact that the IPL governing council was mulling a formula where seven players could be retained by each team. With that as a backdrop, it was baffling to see the final announcement that each team could retain upto four players.
“The governing council felt that a maximum of four players would be enough to keep the continuity factor going into the next season,” a member of the governing council, preferring anonymity, told the Hindustan Times.
Interestingly, the governing council headed by suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi had zeroed in on the decision to retain at least seven players per team on December 17, 2009.
According to the minutes of the meeting, “Chairman presented 7 of the 8 franchises views to feature all players in the auction for 2O11 season. Members deliberated on this and felt there should be continuity in teams and that a minimum of 4 Indian players and 3 foreign players should be retained by the existing Franchisees.”
However, after Modi's ouster from the BCCI following allegations of misappropriation of funds, the governing council had asked the three former captains on the committee to discuss the issue and suggest a solution.
“The seven players suggestion included three players to be sold on a 'matching-on' basis,” the governing council member said. “It meant that three of the seven players were to be a part of the auction. But once the highest bid was received, the original franchisee of the player was given an option to match that fee and retain the player. This would have made the procedure too complex, so the governing council decided to allow retention of only four players.”
But when the 2010 auction issue was first discussed during the franchisee owners' workshop with the IPL management last year, all teams had expressed reservations about player retention (see box). Still, the BCCI has had the final say because “in principle, the franchisees can only give their opinion, but the decision making power rests with the BCCI.”