Having finally given the go-ahead to the CVC Capital to own the Ahmedabad franchise, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken the first step towards integrating the two new teams (including the Lucknow franchise of the RPSG Group) into the IPL system and have formally authorised them to sign players. The go-ahead was given to them through a mail on the morning of Wednesday (January 12).
Cricbuzz understands that the new teams have been given time till January 22 to complete the recruitment process – a maximum of three players with not more than one overseas player. “They have time till 5 pm on January 22 to complete their signings,” said a BCCI official confirming the letter to the newcomers.
The teams were initially expected to be given two weeks’ time but it is being presumed that 10 days would be sufficient as during the time taken for conducting the due diligence on CVC Capital – which incidentally halted the whole IPL process — the teams have done their ground work. The January 22 deadline also means the mega auction is on course to be completed on February 12 and 13 as originally planned, as there is sufficient time for the BCCI to complete player enrolments for the auction register.
As per the general advisory, the new teams will forfeit Rs 33 crore — Rs 15 crore, Rs 11 crore and Rs 7 crore being the stipulated fee slab for the players — if they sign three capped players, Rs 24 crore – Rs 14 crore and Rs 10 crore — for two players and only Rs 14 crore for one player. An uncapped player would cost them only Rs 4 core, as much as for the eight original teams who had the right to sign a maximum of four players.
The new teams, however, cannot sign more than one uncapped player and they are permitted to pay more than the stipulated fee on the condition that they would lose that much money from the salary cap of Rs 90 crore.
As has been widely reported, the Lucknow team is all set to rope in KL Rahul as their top signing and he is all set to become their captain. The Sanjiv Goenka team is believed to be negotiating with a couple of foreign players, like Kagiso Rabada and Marcus Stoinis. They are expected to announce the names in a few days.
There has been a lot of speculation about Hardik Pandya joining the CVC-owned Ahmedabad franchise but the management has been maintaining stoic silence because of the uncertainty over its ownership. Now that veil has been lifted by the BCCI, the CVC management is expected to make the announcements, including on the names of coaching staff, which should have the likes Gary Kirsten, Ashish Nehra and Vikram Solanki.