The IPL 2018 Mega Auctions is going to be a milestone event in the history of the IPL, with all franchises set to indulge in a fresh auction, as the initial 10 year contract between franchises and players has come to an end.
The IPL committee though has brought in the ‘player retention’ concept in order to help teams keep hold their core players, something which is very important in order to build a lasting fanbase.
New look teams would have provided a fresh look to the IPL, but it would have let the fanbases really confused, as a lot of fans relate with players initially and then with the franchise as such.
Bringing in franchise fandom into the IPL will take some time, as it can only come into existence once there are more city franchises drafted into the scheme of things, which at the moment seems very improbable, as ‘country cricket’ dominates the international calendar.
The success of T20 league across the world could take cricket into the ‘club and franchise’ mode, but it doesn’t seem very likely in the next 10 years.
Until then, until teams franchises spring up from a large chunk of Indian cities, bringing in city loyalty into the IPL will be a huge challenge.
Thus, the IPL committee seems to have taken the best step by introducing ‘player retention’ and ‘right to match’ cards in order to help teams maintain their core(i.e. if they wish to).
The committee announced the auction date and venue last night, with the auction set to take place on January 27 and 28th in Bengaluru.
The IPL teams will have to submit their ‘player retentions’ by the 4th of January. A maximum of 5 players can be retained by the franchises, which can be a combination of ‘player retentions’ and ‘right to match cards'(but a maximum of 3 from each category, which means if a team opts for no retentions, it can only use 3 right to match cards during the auction).
4th of January will be when we’ll know the fate of players from CSK and RR, whether they will be retained by their ex franchises or not. MS Dhoni fans would be waiting to see their ‘Thala’ wear those yellow colours once again.