Seventh IPL Will Give Team Owners apos;trump Cards apos; For Three Key Players

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Seventh IPL will give team owners 'trump cards' to let them keep three key players
By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Baldurjo+Bhose Baldurjo Bhose]
Published: 00:56 BST, 13 December 2013 | Updated: 00:56 BST, 13 December 2013
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The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) might still be around four months away, but the retention policy to be in place for the auctioSeventh IPL will give team owners 'trump cards' to let them keep three key playen - set to be held on February 2 - has kept every franchise guessing.

Despite a two-day meet between the IPL Governing Council and team owners in Singapore, there was quite a bit of ambiguity.

But the air has finally been cleared as each team will now be allowed to retain eight players - five under the retention clause and three thanks to trump cards.

While it was common knowledge that franchises would be allowed to retain five players from their existing roster, not too many were sure about the number of trump cards - a new concept - they would be allowed to use.

For those in the dark, a trump card can be used by a franchise to buy back a player they hadn't retained at the start of the auction.

For example, if Mumbai Indians release Harbhajan Singh and he is picked up by another franchise for Rs X, Mumbai can match the same amount and buy him back with the help of the trump card.
A team can do this for three players.
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Speaking to Mail Today, an official of one of the IPL teams said there was a bit of confusion regarding this during the meet in Singapore but he was happy with the eight-player rule.

"We spoke about retaining eight players in total, with the help of three trump cards. But there was some disagreement in Singapore. I am glad we can use three trump cards. We can actually retain eight of the top 15 players in the team without it pinching our pockets too much," he said.

Strategic thinking: Mumbai Indians owner Neeta Ambani (left) and Bollywood Actor and KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan (right) will look to use trump cards intelligently to retain important players

A governing council member said that helping teams maintain their basic structure was at the top of their mind.

"After six seasons, the nuclei of most teams have been built and breaking that doesn't make much sense. All our efforts are to ensure a level playing field," he told Mail Today.

Bidding to take place on February 2

At the two-day meet in Singapore, it was decided that the auction for IPL-7 would take place on February 12.
But as reported earlier by Mail Today, the franchises wanted an earlier auction.

So the date has now been advanced to February 2. Franchises had said that having an early auction would help them in promoting players acquired in the auction and creating a connection between them and the teams' fan base.

Sponsors also want to know about the members of the squad to devise their marketing strategies around them.

"The sponsors definitely have a say as they are investing money. They want a clear picture with regards to the new players and the big names that they can market. IPL has more to it than just the action on the field.

"A lot of endorsements are planned and shoots are done.

When the tournament comes closer, these things get a little difficult as the players want to focus on their game," an official of one of the IPL teams told Mail Today.

He added that the advancement of date by just 10 days wouldn't help matters much as far as the sponsors are concerned.

"Ten days don't make much of a difference.

The marketing guys won't be too pleased by the situation. Ideally, the auction should have been held at least in the middle of January," the franchise official said.

But an official from another team said that not just marketing activities, but also connecting the players with fans, is important.

"You can expect a few changes in the teams this time round, so connecting the new players with the fans is just as crucial.

So we want the auction as early as possible," he told Mail Today.