IPL governing council clears way for Dhoni's return to CSK

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The IPL Governing Council, in its meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, has upped the player cap for the franchises for the next three years. The meeting became even more important following the return of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) from suspension and exit of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions.

Dhoni had played for the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the last two editions but now can go back to CSK with the decision taken by the IPL Governing Council here.

Meanwhile, the salary cap for teams for the 2018 edition is Rs. 80 crore.

IPL franchises will be allowed to retain a maximum of five of their existing players through a combination of player retention before the 2018 auction and the use of right-to-match cards during the auction. A franchise can secure a maximum of two uncapped Indian players. So, if a franchise does not to directly retain any player, it will be allowed a maximum of three RTMs at the auctions. For capped players, the earlier base price of Rs 30 lakh has been increased to Rs 50 lakh, Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh, while there are no changes for players carrying the reserve price of Rs 1 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2 crore.

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As for the franchise squad size, each team has to have a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 25 players, which also includes up to eight overseas cricketers. "The minimum spend will be 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season", the BCCI stated.

Right to match or RTM basically gives a franchise the authority to match the highest bid for a player they didn't choose to retain pre-auction, and acquire his services again. Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, and the Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal) and also Royal Challengers Bangalore retains Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Chris Gayle but Shane Watson is not confirmed.

For uncapped players' retention, the franchises will have to dish out INR 3 Crores per player from their pre-auction purse.

In July 2017, The Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Friday that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals would be back for 2018 IPL.