In the wake of the latest IPL GC meeting, it is likely that MS Dhoni will return for Chennai Super Kings. © AFP

In the wake of the latest IPL GC meeting, it is likely that MS Dhoni will return for Chennai Super Kings. © AFP

Indian Premier League franchises can hold on to up to five players from their previous squads for IPL 2018 and beyond, the IPL Governing Council and the Committee of Administrators decided after a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday (December 6).

The meeting was chaired by Rajeev Shukla, the chairman of the IPL. Among the attendees were Vinod Rai, the head of the Supreme Court-appointed CoA, and Diana Edulji, the only other remaining member of what was initially a four-person panel.

The process of keeping players back can be through a combination of player retention ahead of the auction, and the Right to Match option during the auction, but each franchise can only use a maximum of either three retentions or three RtMs, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said through a press release.

The release added that even if franchises do not embrace the player retention option at all, they would still only have three RtM cards at the 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.

It was also decided that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, back in the mix now after having been suspended for the last two seasons, can retain players or use their RtM options for players who played for the two respective franchises in IPL 2015, and who were part of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions in IPL 2017.

The salary cap for each franchise has been upped from Rs 66 crore, and will increase progressively over the next three years. 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. Each franchise will have to spend at least 75% of the money at its disposal per season.

Guidelines have also been framed in the event of player retention under the following system:

If teams retain three players before the auction, they will be charged Rs 15 crore for the first player, Rs 11 crore for the second and Rs 7 crore for the third (or actual amount paid to player, whichever is higher). If only two players are kept back prior to the auction, they will be docked Rs 12.5 crore for the first player and Rs 8.5 crore for the second (or actual amount, whichever is higher), and if only one player is retained, they will lose Rs 12.5 crore (or actual price, whichever is higher) from their Rs 80-crore purse. Uncapped players will cost the franchise Rs 3 crore each.

There is also a change in the reserve price of capped and uncapped players. For capped players, the new reserve prices are Rs 50 lakh (previously Rs 30 lakh), Rs 75 lakh (Rs 50 lakh), and Rs 1 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2 crore (all unchanged). For uncapped players, they are Rs 20 lakh (Rs 10 lakh), Rs 30 lakh (Rs 20 lakh) and Rs 40 lakh (Rs 30 lakh).

Franchises can have a maximum of 25 players and a minimum of 18 players, but they can’t have more than eight overseas players.