The BCCI is yet to come out with a policy on retention and matching cards for next year’s mega IPL auction but there is already talk of the players demanding higher retention value. In some cases, the demand apparently has been for a three-fold increase. The demand, evidently, comes in the wake of the staggering Rs 16k crore IPL media rights deal that the BCCI signed recently and also the understanding that 50 per cent of that booty will go to the teams.
Roughly estimated, each franchise could well be earning between Rs 200- 230 crore (as against Rs 70 crore on average previously) from the central revenue pool and the development has not been lost on the players, specifically the marquee players. The word is that players who stand a chance of being retained have asked for an increase in their fee, in some cases three times their existing value. That means top players could be earning between Rs 25-30 crore every IPL season.
The demand is also based on the assumption that the salary purse for the mega auction will go up. Previously it was Rs 66 crore and it is believed that figure will go beyond Rs 80 crore, some are speculating that it could even touch Rs 100 crore.
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Chris Gayle, David Miller and Harbhajan Singh are some of the players who were retained previously. For each retained player, the franchises had a part of the salary purse cut, with Rs 12.5 crore being the amount taken away for the No 1retained player.
The franchises were, of course, permitted to pay as much as they wanted for the marquee players without having to disclose the figure. Kohli, for instance, was getting Rs 15 crore although Royal Challengers Bangalore had to forego only Rs 12.5 crore from their salary cap. Their salaries were initially kept secret till the BCCI, under public pressure, was forced to make the numbers public in 2015.
“If the players are making such a demand, they are justified. The only way to make it all transparent is to give matching cards to the teams without permitting any retention. In that case every player will get his real market value and there won’t be a case of breach in salary cap. Everything will be open,” said a franchise official.
The BCCI is expected to announce the retention policy and value of the player purse after a meeting with the owners in the last week of this month.