© BCCI

Next year’s tournament will see the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who have both finished serving their two-year suspension, and there remains uncertainty about players who had previously been part of the two franchises in 2015. © BCCI

The uncertainty over how many players could be retained or how many teams will take part in the Indian Premier League 2018 remained unresolved after a two-hour long meeting between the IPL Governing Council and the owners and/or top management of the original eight IPL franchises in Mumbai on Tuesday (November 21).

A report in The Hindu quoted Rajeev Shukla, the IPL chairman, as saying that a range of issues were discussed, including salary caps, the number of players in each team, and whether the next edition of the IPL should be an eight or ten-team affair.

“There were a number of issues including the number of players, salary cap of the players, the playing squad, and the total number of the teams,” said Shukla. “All these issues were discussed, other than the venue and dates for the auction and the inaugural ceremony.”

Next year’s tournament will see the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who have both finished serving their two-year suspension, and there remains uncertainty about players who had previously been part of the two franchises in 2015. The two teams who replaced Chennai and Rajasthan for 2016 and 2017 were Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions, and as per Shukla, most franchises want the tournament to be an eight-team affair only.

Shukla expected all the details to be firmed up within a fortnight. “I think in a fortnight the Governing Council will finalise the details. Whether the IPL should have eight or ten teams was also discussed. A majority of the franchises’ view was we should stick to eight teams,” he said.

With the huge bid that the IPL attracted from Star India , the eight franchises who have been there from the start (Hyderabad facing a change of ownership and name in going from Deccan Chargers to Sunrisers Hyderabad), stand to earn a significantly larger sum than they had, and were it to be split between 10 teams, it would reduce.

The Hindu also reported that Chennai and Rajasthan requested first right over the players they had in 2015, though that idea was met with opposition.

“Right now, I can’t say anything until we take the decision about retention and right to match,” said Shukla. “A majority of the franchises were of the view that retention or right to match should be given, so we will keep that aspect in mind.

“We have taken their opinion. Somebody said three players, somebody said five players, somebody said more than five players, somebody said one player. So, majority we will take into account.”

Other media reports said that the auction budget was likely to increase, and it could be anywhere in the range of Rs 75 to 85 crore.