BCCI to hold meeting with IPL franchise owners next week

As the 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is in full swing, discussions have already begun about the upcoming mega auction for the next season. One of the key topics on the agenda is the potential increase in player retention numbers, a move that could enhance team stability and continuity across the league.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited all 10 IPL franchise owners to a meeting in Ahmedabad next week to discuss various aspects of the league’s future. According to sources, the issue of player retention has emerged as a major talking point, with the majority of franchises favoring an increase in the number of players they can retain before the auction.

“Things are at a very nascent stage. The board is seeking recommendations to carry the league forward. Player retention is a major factor in that. Going by the informal discussions, the majority of the franchises are in favor of having a provision where they can retain about eight players before the auction,” a BCCI source told The Times of India.

Nothing specific has been discussed about the RTM or cap on overseas retention: BCCI Source

In the previous mega auction, franchises were allowed to retain a maximum of four players, with the option to buy back one additional player using the ‘right to match’ (RTM) card. This allowed teams to retain a total of five players. However, with the league now having 10 teams, there is a growing sentiment that the pool of available players is becoming too small, making it challenging for some franchises to rebuild their squads effectively.

Many franchises have expressed the desire to retain a larger part of their core teams, citing the need for continuity and team stability. The suggestion is to increase the number of player retentions to around eight, with the possibility of further discussions on the RTM option and the cap on overseas retentions.

In addition, teams have stated that they would like to see the current Rs 90 crore cumulative pay maximum increased to Rs 100 crore, as the BCCI has secured larger media rights agreements.

“Some feel that it doesn’t make sense if the core of the team is broken so frequently. Franchises have identified that there should be a scope to retain the larger part of the core team. There are a couple of objections to this suggestion. Nothing specific has been discussed about the RTM or cap on overseas retentions,” the source added.

Additionally, some franchises, such as Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, have struggled to maintain their momentum after the previous mega auction. This has reinforced the belief that a larger player retention pool could help teams preserve the core of their squads and enhance their long-term competitiveness.

“There will be some resistance because a few franchises will want a bigger pool of players in the auction to rebuild their teams. One must remember that there are 10 teams now and if the number of retentions is increased, then the ‘cream pool’ will become very small. The meeting on April 16 is likely to revolve around these talking points,” the source concluded.