There has been lot of questions among the fans on what will happen to IPL in 2018,
What happens to Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions?
Will Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals come back next year?
Are we going to see a 10 Team IPL or 8 Team IPL?
Will all the players go back to auction?
So I thought I would pen down my opinion, thoughts on this scenario. The views expressed are based on information I’ve heard and what I expect to happen.
Where do Gujarat Lions and RP Supergiant go?
Some fans are wondering what happens RPS and GL, is it fair that their teams disappear after 2 years, what if RPS win this year?.etc.. Let’s take a quick look at how these two teams came into existence. With all the negativity that happened after the suspension of CSK and RR in 2016, in order to avoid the lack of interest in conventional bidding and inorder to attract Buyers for the 2 Teams, BCCI introduced a Reverse bidding auction. These teams were offered by BCCI for a period of 2 years, with BCCI investing 40 Cr from the central revenue pool. The two teams were brought in more like substitutes for 2 Years to keep the same format, total matches and to fulfil sponsor commitments. Also the addition of Teams, ensured BCCI doesn’t lose out on the revenue due to absence of teams.
Kolkata-based Sanjiv Goenka’s company New Rising and Delhi-based handset maker Intex won bids for 2 new IPL franchises for participating in 2016 and 2017 IPL. The teams were named as Rising Pune Supergiant(s) and Gujarat Lions. While the base price was set as Rs 40 Crore, RPS for Pune was won with a bid of minus Rs 16 Crore and GL for Rajkot for minus Rs 10 crore. So these two owners who put in the lowest amount — agreeing to accept the lowest share of the IPL’s central revenue pool, won the bids. Players were drafted into 2 Teams and then the Teams were allowed to buy players around them.
So it is obvious that these two teams are not in scheme of things in the 2018 Edition of IPL. However this doesn’t rule out the two teams or owners are not going to be involved further.
Keshav Bansal is a great sports enthusiast and is passionate about cricket. Sanjiv Goenka of RPSG Group, already has investments and interest in Football and may be keen to continue his involvement in Cricket as well. Both these owners will have the options to invest in a New team, only if BCCI decide to expand the IPL with 10 teams and if they win the rights through a new bidding OR the owners could be interested to buy stake in other teams which can act as a platform for their brand promotion or involvement.
Also with the reverse bidding process, the 2 Teams were not eligible to earn shares from the central revenue pool. The revenue options were Prize Money, Performance based incentives, if teams made it to Playoff, Stadium Ticket Sale in Home games, Sponsorships and Merchandise. So not sure how successful each of the Owner was ( in 2016 GL did make it to playoff, Stadium turnaround was good and sure Intex had a great platform for the brand ). While RPS had a disappointing injury hit 1st season, empty stands, it will be interesting to see if owners of RPS made any direct or indirect growth. It is more likely at this stage, that RPS will make it to Playoff in 2017 IPL and that will help. This will have an impact on their future presence either bidding for Teams, or looking for potential avenues. Who knows franchise like Delhi Daredevils may look for investors to sell part of their stake, and Keshav Bansal may be eyeing it already?!. May be Diageo has other priorities and is looking to sell shares and RPSG may get in to rename Royal Challengers to Rising Bengaluru Supergiants !.Return of CSK / RR and possible expansion. .
With 2 substitute teams going out, the 2 suspended Teams will come back in 2018 Edition. The Contracts with sponsors and all sponsors end in 2017, BCCI will sell the Media rights for IPL for a period of 10 Years, i.e 2018-2027.
The BCCI may decide to add 2 more teams ( to make it a 10 Team IPL ) in 2018 or sometime in future. However this will not increase the matches more than 76. Either it’s going to be 60 matches with 8 Teams or a maximum of 76 matches with 10 Teams.
Now with the return of the teams confirmed, the next Big Question is Team Composition and Key Players.
When the IPL Started, the original agreement signed with BCCI and Team Owners, All the players were supposed to be going back to the auction pool after three years. However in the interest to maintain fan loyalties and various reasons, new retention rule was brought in. There are already reports that since everything starts fresh, players will also go into auction.
However if am right, the agreement for retention of 5 players + 1 by right to match in auction, is done for 3 Years last year. Reports suggest some teams feel all players must be released into auctions. However if this happens, the Teams will be given 5 Right to match cards, and marque players in the likes of Virat, MS Dhoni, Rohit, Gambhir, David Warner will be going back to their respective franchises. Either by retention, or by right to match, sure most teams will want to build a team around their main stars, who had given them success and a fan base. Teams I feel will push for retention of 5 and to keep the existing rule are MI, RCB, SRH, KKR, CSK and RR. Not sure with KXIP, but sure DD will want to start fresh, yet again.
Also one reason, why players may go into auction with the 5 right to match cards is that this won’t lead to any player dispute on salaries and that the team who have the purse to buy, can match and build rest of Team with others.
I am of the Opinion, that teams must be allowed to retain players to build around their main players to have team bonding as well as to keep the fan base. No Team would want to lose 25-30% or even more fans after building a franchise for 10 years. No am not talking as a CSK Fan, to have MS Dhoni or Suresh Raina with CSK. It’s more to do in the longer run of building city loyal fans for the franchise.
The young generation form an important part of the fan base. Players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir have huge fan following and if they move to different teams, they will shift big number of fans to the new franchise. Though some teams have really managed to build loyal fans ( Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore ), it will be an interesting to see who do they support if their main line up changes. So given the situation, I don’t see that all players going into auction pool and If that happens, then sure there will be 5 right to match cards, which will allow Teams to keep their icon or main player.
Ok, so Retention and Rfright to match is clear, but what happens to Ajinkya Rahane or Smith or Dhoni or Ashwin, with RPS/GL not in the IPL?
With the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the right to retain players or using match card, will be from the players they had in the last team. I am not sure if there is any official rule or confirmation in this subject. However I presume, for Players who were part of the squads of CSK and RR in 2016, the respective teams will have the rights over retention/right to match and for the rest of the players, it will remain with the rest of the 6 teams who they played for in 2017. This is more practical and allows all the main 8 teams to build a fresh team in 2018, with a core team which had represented them before and continue building on the fans they have built over years.
That’s it from me and I think, I have clarified a few doubtful minds and that what I have put up is right. Do correct me if there is any contract facts and looking forward for your feedback. Meanwhile, do post your comments and suggestions. If you found the blog informative, don’t hesitate to share it among your friends and fans.