Sports

Dhoni may return as CSK skipper after new IPL rule


New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS): In a decision that could see the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the skipper of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and some of its top players, the IPL Governing Council has allowed the returning franchises CSK and Rajasthan Royals to secure the players who represented them in the 2015 edition and were part of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions squads in 2017.

It also decided that an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise can retain or secure through the Right to Match (RTM) clause a combined total of five players for the 2018 edition of the Twenty20 cricket tournament, it was announced on Wednesday.

An IPL franchise is eligible to secure up to five players by virtue of a combination of player retention (pre player auction) and Right to Match (during the auction), BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said in a statement.

The decision was taken during the IPL Governing Council's meeting with the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) here.

The decision means CSK can call upon the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina and veteran New Zealand star Brendan McCullum. They may also recall West Indies star Dwayne Bravo.

Rajasthan Royals meanwhile, can secure the services of Australian all-rounders James Faulkner and Shane Watson, opener Aaron Finch and India star Ajinkya Rahane.

CSK and Rajasthan were suspended for two IPL seasons after the tournament was hit by a spot-fixing controversy in 2013.

They were replaced by Rising Pune Supergiants -- who employed Dhoni as captain -- and the Gujarat Lions.

The IPL Governing Council had allowed a maximum of either three retentions or three Right To Match (RTM) at the discretion of the franchises. If there is no retention before player auction then the franchises can have up to three ATM.

A franchise can secure a maximum of three capped Indian players and a maximum of two overseas players. A franchise can secure a maximum of two uncapped Indian players.

Meanwhile, the salary cap for teams for the 2018 edition is Rs. 80 crore. It will grow by Rs 2 crore and Rs 3 crore for the next two editions respectively.

"The minimum spend will be 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season," the statement read.

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