The road to Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 has been paved and with the league’s governing body clearing the clouds of confusion over the retainment policy for the franchisees, the stage is all set for a spectacular tournament. IPL Governing Council said that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be able to retain three players each from the squads of Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and Gujarat Lions (GL). Apart from these two clubs, all the other clubs can retain a total of 5 players by the virtue of retention and Right to Match (RTM) card. Interestingly, the council has also hiked the salary budget from previous Rs 66 crore to Rs 80 crore. With this being said how much would the teams spend this time in IPL auctions? Going by simple maths, the franchises might go on to spend a whopping Rs 640 crore this year (if, they use the entire purse). The five players secured can include any combination of retention and right-to-match cards with not more than three through either category. That means a franchise not opting to directly retain any player will still be allowed only a maximum of three RTMs at the player auction.
However, if three players are retained by a franchise, they will be down by Rs 33 Crore. So, if all the teams decided to retain three players, they would end up spending a total of Rs 264 crore. But, they can play smart and save money in the process. If they use their brain and use the Right-to-match (RTM) card the total might vary. A franchise can use a maximum of three RTMs at the time of auctions.
So, a team might just spend Rs 21 crore to retain the best two players (as it is the price set to retain 2 players) and then use the RTMs to retain the other three players. Now, keeping this in mind that if the average sum spent to get hold of these players is Rs 3 crore, then teams would just spend 9 crores to keep the other best players. And, the collective total would reach up to Rs 240 crore. And that would be a budget spending. And they can then go out to spend the remaining Rs 400 crore on strengthening their squad by bringing in some real talent.
What is an RTM or Right-to-Match card?
RTM, which stands for Right to Match, can be availed by any team on the day of the auction. If a player (X), who played for team (Y) in the previous season, is acquired by another team (Z) in the auction, Y can use their RTM card and get X for the same amount of money for which Z bought him.
Let us take an example to become familiar with the terms pre-auction retention and RTM:
If Mumbai Indians opt to retain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya ahead of the IPL auction, these three retentions will be called as pre-auction retention. Now, if they allow Hardik Pandya to go to the auctions and Chennai Super Kings buy him for Rs 8 crores, then MI can use their RTM and get Hardik back for the same price CSK was paying for him.
This will help the teams to save on those players who are expected to be sold for an amount less than the retention cost.