MS Dhoni, the former India skipper, is all set to return to the Chennai Super Kings franchise for the 2018 Indian Premier League after the IPL Governing Council cleared the path for his return.
The Indian Premier League’s (IPL) governing council has cleared up to three players from the two franchise suspended for two seasons, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, to be retained for next year’s edition of the lucrative T20 tournament, which means that Indian cricket superstar MS Dhoni could be in line to represent the franchise whom he led to two IPL title.
In a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, along with the Committee of Administrators (CoA), the IPL GC met to discuss IPL Player retention policy, salary cap, player regulations and other related issues. Among the decisions taken was to allow Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings to retain players from their 2015 squads, who are not playing for any other franchise, and to set in place the five-player buy-back rule which includes option of doing so with three retentions and two matching cards, or two retentions and three matching cards.
Out of five cricketers that a franchise could buy back, a maximum of three Indians and two overseas players are allowed. If a franchise opts not to retain any players, it will get three matching cards at the auction in 2018.
A maximum of 25 players (with a total of eight overseas players) and a minimum of 18 players will be allowed per franchise squad. Salary caps have been set at Rs 80 crore for 2017, 82 crores for 2019 and 85 crore for 2020. The minimum spend will be 75 percent of the salary cap for each season. The maximum cap for uncapped cricketers will be Rs 40 lakh.
Following the IPL spot-fixing controversy that broke in 2013, CSK and RR were suspended for two years (2016 and 2017) after the Lodha Committee’s verdict. Dhoni played for one of the two replacement franchise, Rising Pune Supergiants, captaining them during the 2016 IPL season. Gujarat Lions were the other franchise, replacing Rajasthan.
According to sources, CSK will also retain Dwayne Bravo. IPL title holders Mumbai Indians will use all their retentions on Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, and the Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal). The sources added that Royal Challengers Bangalore will retain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle but there is no confirmation Shane Watson. Delhi Daredevils are not likely to retain any player and Sunrisers Hyderabad will retain David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
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