RTM cards draw big impact in player auction

The Right-to-Match card was made use of by teams willing to retain its star players, but even after the stars faded out, the RTM continued to make its presence felt.

Akash Ambani, the Mumbai Indians owner, said his team was “unemotional” about exercising RTMs.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Richard Madley, the auctioneer, calls out a marquee player's name. Kings XI Punjab pounces on it, starts bidding fiercely.

Whether Preity Zinta's table succeeds or loses the bid, virtually every star player whose previous team could lay a claim on him using the Right to Match (RTM) card exercises the right. Barring the two occasions when they exploit the advantage, the Kings are more or less disheartened and the RTM is the winner. That was the story of the first two sets, featuring 16 marquee players at the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Player Auction at a five-star hotel on Saturday.

And even after the stars faded out, the RTM continued to make its presence felt. May it have been with four leg-spinners being retained for high prices just after lunch or the Mumbai Indians deciding to preserve its auction purse anticipating RTM usage for retaining all-rounder Krunal Pandya in its stables.

Read: Krunal Pandya stays at Mumbai Indians with Rs. 8.8 crore deal

First introduced at the 2014 full auction as a Joker card, the IPL authorities had amended the RTM card rules to help all the eight franchises who returned to the auction table with the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. A combination of retention and RTMs could help teams retain up to five of its previous players.

Interesting impact

The RTMs had interesting impact. While it helped teams like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad to retain players like Krunal and Rashid Khan, respectively, who fetched very high price on Saturday, it also resulted in Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils retaining the services of its key players at a reasonable price.

Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani at the end of the proceedings spelt out that his team was “unemotional” about exercising RTMs and putting a fixed price tag for all its potential buys. It reflected in the fact that Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad chose to let go of Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, respectively.

On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders ended up being forced to look beyond its preferred choices for RTM with K. L. Rahul and Manish Pandey fetching Rs. 11 crore each from other teams.

Not all the players benefitted in terms of fetching a higher sum by opting to be in the auction pool. Rajasthan Royals, for instance, preferred to let Ajinkya Rahane be in the auction rather than signing him for a higher sum and losing the auction purse of Rs. 8.5 crore. Instead, the Royals RTM-ed Rahane for Rs. 4 crore. Whereas Yuzvendra Chahal, the in-form leggie, is understood to have declined retention in quest of a sum much higher than Rs. 7 crore that was permissible under the pre-auction retention rules. His highest bid was Rs. 6 crore, which made it much easier for RCB to display the RTM card.

RTM summary
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore - Used: 1 Yuzvendra Chahal (Rs 6 Cr); Remaining 1
  • Kolkata Knight Riders - Used 3 Robin Uthappa (Rs. 6.4 Cr), Piyush Chawla (Rs. 4.2 Cr.), Kuldeep Yadav (Rs. 5.8 Cr); Remaining 0
  • Kings XI Punjab - Used 2 David Miller (Rs. 3 Cr.), Marcus Stoinis (Rs. 6.2 Cr.); Remaining 1.
  • Chennai Super Kings - Used: 2 Faf du Plessis (Rs. 1.6 Cr.), Dwayne Bravo (Rs. 6.4 Cr.); Remaining 0.
  • Delhi Daredevils - Used: 2 Mohammed Shami (Rs. 3 Cr.), Kagiso Rabada (Rs. 4.2 Cr.); Remaining 0.
  • Rajasthan Royals - Used: 1 Ajinkya Rahane (Rs. 4 Cr.); Remaining: 2.
  • Mumbai Indians - Used 2 Kieron Pollard (Rs. 5.4 Cr.), Krunal Pandya (Rs. 8.8 Cr.); Remaining: 0.
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad - Used 3 Shikhar Dhawan (Rs. 5.2 Cr.), Rashid Khan (Rs. 9 Cr.); Deepak Hooda (Rs. 3.6 Cr.); Remaining: 0.

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