After the IPL Governing Council (GC) meeting was held on Wednesday by the BCCI, the eight teams could now retain as much as five players.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a statement after the meeting that "An IPL Franchise is eligible to secure up to 5 players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention [Pre Player Auction] and Right to Match [RTM] [During the Player Auction]". In both the retention and RtM eventualities, there can only be a maximum of three capped Indian players, a maximum of two overseas players and no more than two uncapped Indians.
If only two players are retained, then the first will cost the franchise INR 12.5 crore from the salary cap, and the second INR 8.5 crore.
It is learnt that the franchise needs to include a minimum of three Indians among their five retained players.
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A franchise will be allowed to spend only INR 33 crore on retentions ahead of the 2018 IPL auction, leaving it at least INR 47 crore to spend at the auction. A right-to-match card gives the franchise the ability to buy back its player during the auction by matching the highest bid made for the player by another franchise, once the bidding is over. In 2018, teams will have Rs 80 crore at their disposal, which will be enhanced to Rs 82 crore in 2019 and peak at Rs 85 crore in 2020.
The minimum spend will be 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season. Dhoni was also a pivotal part of the squad that led the team to the finals in 2017. The Governing Council also increased the reserve prices for players available in the auction.
Considering the player auction will be a big one, the IPL has increased the salary cap significantly. For the capped players, who were earlier bracketed in the Rs 30 lakh and Rs 50 lakh category, the new base price will be Rs 50 lakh and Rs 75 lakh respectively.
The salary of players retained before the auction has also been altered in parts. The earlier reserve price of uncapped players has been escalated from INR 10, 20, and 30 lakh to INR 20, 30, and 40 lakh respectively.