Mixed reactions from franchises on player retentions

The stage looks set for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s return to CSK, while Royals will only be able to retain Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. Most of the old ‘loyal Royals’ now represent other franchises.

M.S. Dhoni would return to the side after his two-year stint with Pune Supergiant. Dhoni’s name has been synonymous with that of the CSK.

The IPL governing council’s decision brought forth mixed reactions from the franchises. While most of them were happy with the decision— which, they feel, will help them keep the core group intact — Rajasthan Royals, returning to the IPL after a two-year suspension, feels that it may not suit the franchise well.

“The Royals respect the decision of the BCCI, and we strongly appreciate that they are in a difficult position to please all of the teams,” Manoj Badale, the principal owner of Rajasthan Royals, told Sportstar on Wednesday. “We recognise that their (BCCI) efforts are towards creating a resilient and competitive tournament, however we would have preferred a different outcome on this occasion,” Badale added.

READ: CSK, RR allowed to retain players

With this decision, the stage looks set for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s return to CSK, while Royals will only be able to retain Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. Most of the old ‘loyal Royals’ now represent other franchises.

While there is still no decision on Rajasthan Royals’ home ground, Sportstar has reliably learnt that the representatives of the franchise, Ranjit Barthakur and Rajiv Khanna, will visit the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur along with the IMG representatives on Thursday.

On Monday, BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary had visited the Jaipur venue and held talks with Rajasthan’s sports secretary J. C. Mohanty. Now, with the franchise bosses and the representatives of IMG too inspecting the venue, chances of Jaipur hosting Royals’ matches have brightened. However, things will depend on whether the BCCI decides to lift the suspension on the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and whether the warring RCA factions drop all their cases filed in the Rajasthan High Court.

Steve Smith is one of the two players Rajasthan Royals can possibly retain as most of them are playing for different franchises now.   -  PTI


Meanwhile the CSK officials are happy with the IPL governing council’s decision. The director of CSK, George John, said, “As a franchise, we are very happy with the steps taken by the governing council. We are happy with the retention policy as well. Overall, it is a good decision.”

He added: “We would love to have Dhoni back. He has been one of the pillars of CSK. And he has such a huge following here. Dhoni adds considerable value to the team. While his ability as a winning captain and an attacking wicket-keeper batsman is well known, he has this rare quality of being able to connect with the fans.”

READ: IPL franchises keen for ‘right to match’ card

The franchise has not decided on which two other cricketers to retain. CSK will have to primarily choose between R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina or a foreign player such as Dwayne Bravo in whom the Chennai team continues to have faith.

CSK is now awaiting instructions from the BCCI on when to send in the list of cricketers it wants to retain.

Delhi Daredevils, which had appealed to the governing council to introduce a Right to Match card, is happy with the developments. Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua made it clear that they were satisfied with the governing council’s decision. “We have what we have and we have to be happy with it,” he said, admitting that the introduction of the Right to Match card is a big boost.

“Right to Match card is a good thing and even the players’ salary cap is quite well justified,” Dua said.

There has been a significant hike in the reserve price of both capped and uncapped players and the franchises agree that this is a positive move.

(With inputs from S. Dinakar)

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