Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

During the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India has initiated discussion with all the franchise owners regarding changes for the mega-auction for IPL 2025 to be held later this year on an informal basis.

As per reports in some sections of media, player retention for the upcoming mega auction has been a major point of discussion. However, a majority of franchises- mainly Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) are seeking to keep more players in their squad as they feel that they have built their teams with all the hard work over the years and they have got all their bases covered. 

In the earlier mega auction in 2022, all the teams were allowed to retain only four players including two foreign players. Moreover, they were given a right-to-match card to keep one more additional player.

As per a BCCI source, “Player- retention is a major factor for the upcoming mega auction. Majority of franchises are in favour of having a provision where they can retain about eight players before the auction.”

“The additional retention would allow teams to maintain continuity in their squad as opposed to breaking up the core members regularly. However, this suggestion has not been accepted unanimously by the franchise owners,” he added.

As per the discussion, there has been a suggestion to increase salary cap to Rs 100 crores. This would make it a 10 crore increase from the original limit. 

Moreover, some franchises feel that it doesn’t make sense if the team’s core 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 as well. 

The mega-auctions will serve each franchise as the opportunity to build their team with the best possible crop of players and the respective teams if they are to have successful seasons in the following seasons, will have to establish a core group of players who can serve the side until the next mega-auction.

Rajasthan Royals made a fresh start in the 2022 auctions with Sanju Samson leading the side. This was followed by several big-name signings like Yuzuvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin and Trent Boult among others. They also got some younger names notably Yashasvi Jaiswal who has now gone on to be a key member of the Indian team in the Test and T20I sides.

Meanwhile, DC have had contrasting fortunes. They built up a good crop of players mixed with international stars on their side and even went all the way to the finals in 2020. But since the recent mega-auctions, they have not been able to field a side which covers all bases which has resulted in poor performances in the seasons to follow.

As per several experts, IPL will lose some of its sheen if there are no major changes in the team structures. Monotony will creep in among the fans and the tournament may lose its charm to some extent. Some of the weaker teams will not also get fair chance to bolster their team structures again.

“Under the circumstances, retaining as many as eight players in the team will serve no purpose and there is no point in having the mega auction for the 2025 edition of IPL. BCCI must not succumb to the pressure exerted by big franchises like CSK and MI to allow retention of as many as eight players. Let there be major overhaul in the squads and let there be more excitement in the mega event,” said a former cricketer under the condition of anonymity.