The IPL Governing Council met in Delhi on December 6 to discuss the retention rules for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL). As it was predicted, each franchise has been allowed to retain a total of five players in through use of a retention policy and Right to Match (RTM) card.

A maximum of three players can be retained through the means of retention and the other two can be retained through RTM card, which will come into play during the auction.

If a franchise decides to retain three players ahead of the auction, it will have to spend a total of Rs. 33 Crore. For the first player, they will have to pay him Rs 15 Crore while a salary of Rs 11 Cr and Rs 7 Crore will be given to the next two players respectively.

If a franchise doesn’t retain any player, it is allowed to use three RTM card.

What is an RTM card:

The Right To Match (RTM) card is an option available to the franchises which can be used to retain a player during the auction, at the price which he has been sold to other franchise.

For ex: Kings XI Punjab does not retain Glenn Maxwell before the auction. On the day of the auction, Delhi Daredevils purchase the all-rounder for an amount of Rs 6 Crore. KXIP, the franchise for which Maxwell played in the last season, has an option to use the RTM card and takeaway Maxwell for the same amount. This is a privilege provided to the franchise during the day of the auction, which they can use on players who played for them in the previous season.

If a franchise retains three players ahead of the auction, then they would be left with two RTM cards while if a franchise doesn't retain any player, they would get three RTM cards on the day of the auction.

Questions related to Gujarat Lions, Rising Pune Supergiant, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) – after serving a ban of two years – are making a comeback in the upcoming season. They will come in place of Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Gujarat Lions (GL). The latter franchises were called in as replacement of the former and have to pave for them on their return.

Important points:

There will be a mega auction next year, hence, it was decided that the franchises will be allowed spend more money this time. A franchise is allowed to spend a total of Rs 80 Crore in the auction. The maximum number of players that a franchise can have on the roster is 25 while a minimum of 18 players is needed to form quorum. A franchise can have a maximum of eight overseas players, out of which four players can be included in playing XI.

Players which CSK and RR can retain before auction:

CSK and RR can only retain players who were part either of Rising Pune Supergiant or Gujarat Lions in two years. In addition to that, CSK is only allowed to retain a player who was part of it in 2015. Same is the case with Rajasthan Royals. It can only retain players who played for the franchise in 2015.

CSK cannot retain Mohit Sharma (who was part of CSK in 2015) because he was neither part of Rising Pune Supergiant nor Gujarat Lions in these two years (when CSK was banned). He played for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 9 and 10.

List of players which CSK can retain (marked with franchises they were part of) :

MS Dhoni (RPS), R Ashwin (RPS), Faf du Plessis (RPS), Baba Aparajith (RPS), Ankush Bains (RPS), Suresh Raina (GL), Ravindra Jadeja (GL), Dwayne Bravo (GL), Brendon McCullum (GL), Dwayne Smith (GL), Andrew Tye (GL), Irfan Pathan (GL) and Ishwar Pandey (RPS).

List of players Rajasthan Royal can retain (marked with franchises they were part of):

Ajinkya Rahane (RPS), Steven Smith (RPS), Ankit Sharma (RPS), Rajat Bhatia (RPS), James Faulkner (GL) and Dhawal Kulkarni (GL).

The future:

It's a no-brainer that CSK will retain MS Dhoni before the IPL auction. In fact, they might also appoint him as the captain of the side, which will also see MS Dhoni leading a team again. He had relinquished the post of Indian captain in January early this year while was also removed as captain of Rising Pune Supergiant before IPL 2017.

His appointment as captain would mark his comeback as captain in IPL. Though he still continues to lead Jharkhand in List A cricket.

Let's have a look at the future prospects and guess which franchise would retain which player before the auction and would use RTM card on which player.

Chennai Super Kings:
(Image credits: K.R. Deepak/ The Hindu)

Preference 1 (MS Dhoni, 15 Cr): As said, it's a no brainer that CSK would jump on MS Dhoni and would retain him. He would be the first preference for CSK.

Preference 2 (Suresh Raina, 11 Cr): Suresh Raina could be the second preference for CSK. In seven out of eight seasons he played for the franchise, he scored over 400 runs and never missed a single game across eight seasons. His batting, fitness and fielding level is something which CSK would retain.

Preference 3 (Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Cr): Ravindra Jadeja could be the third retention player for CSK. The Indian all-rounder can contribute in all the department of the game and is an asset for the team.

Options for RTM (only two): Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum

Rajasthan Royals:

Rajasthan Royals' Steve Smith
(Image credits: BCCI)

Preference 1 (Steven Smith, 15 Cr):
He seems to be the first and the only preference for the side. Smith, who replaced MS Dhoni as captain of RPS in the last season, did well and stormed his side to the final of the season. Though he doesn't play regular T20I cricket for Australia but has done well in the T20 leagues.

Preference 2None

Preference 3 None

RTM – None

Mumbai Indians:
(Image credits: BCCI)

Preference 1 (Rohit Sharma, 15 Cr) :
Rohit Sharma is to Mumbai Indians what MS Dhoni is to CSK. Taking over captaincy mid-way in 2013, he led his side to title victory in his inaugural edition as the captain and has led the team to three titles in five seasons as captain. The franchise would spend more than even 15 Crore to retain team India’s vice-captain.

Preference 2 (Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Cr): Mumbai Indians was the team which brought Bumrah into the national limelight. With his strange action and abilities which he possesses, he can emerge out as second preference for Mumbai Indians,

Preference 3 (Hardik Pandya, 7 Crore): The Indian all-rounder might be the third preference for his side, courtesy his all-around skills.

Options for RTM (only two): Harbhajan Singh, Krunal Pandya, Nitish Rana, Karn Sharma

Royal Challengers Bangalore:
(Image credits: AFP)

Preference 1 (Virat Kohli, 15 Cr):
Without any doubt, he would be the first choice for RCB. Even in 2011, when Kohli was yet to become a big thing in cricket arena, RCB management saw a capability and rare talent in him and retained him ahead of the auction. In his all 10 years of IPL career, Kohli has played for just RCB and might continue to do so.

Preference 2: None

Preference 3: None

RTM card: None

Delhi Daredevils:

Rishabh Pant's 43-ball 97 helped Delhi Daredevils crush Gujarat Lions by 7 wickets in an IPL 2017 match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday.
(Image credits: BCCI)

Looking at the history of Delhi Daredevils (DD), there is hardly any player they would retain. Before IPL 2014, they even released Virender Sehwag, who also took away his fan base from Delhi to Kings XI Punjab.

Preference 1: None

Preference 2: None

Preference 3: None

RTM card: Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson

Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Sunrisers Hyderabad cricketer Shikhar Dhawan (left) and captain David Warner are a formidable opening pair and their partnerships at the start of the innings have been crucial for the team's success in the Indian Premier League (IPL), including the match against Kings XI?Punjab in Mohali on Friday.
(Image credits: AFP)

Preference 1 and 2 (Shikhar Dhawan & David Warner or vice-versa): There might be a direct tossup between skipper David Warner and opener Shikhar Dhawan for the first and second preference. It will be either Dhawan or Warner who would be the first preference and second preference or vice-versa.

Preference 3 (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 7 Cr): Kumar could leapfrog Rashid Khan to become the third preference for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Though Rashid will also be a hot property in the auction, Bhuvi’s price in the auction can go much higher than Rashid's, which will force SRH to retain Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

RTM: Rashid Khan

Kings XI Punjab:
(Image credits: BCCI)

Preference 1: None

Preference 2: None

Preference 3: None

RTM card: Sandeep Sharma, Axar Patel

Kolkata Knight Riders:
(Image credits: AFP)

Preference 1 (Gautam Gambhir, 15 Cr):
Skipper Gautam Gambhir himself led the team from the front in IPL 2017 and scored 498 runs, emerging out second highest run-scorer in the season. He has also drawn big fan base in Kolkata and can be the first preference for any franchise.

Preference 2: None

Preference 3: None

RTM: Manish Pandey, Sunil Narine