The red carpet has been all but rolled out for Indian Premier League franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who will return in the 2018 edition after serving a two-year suspension for alleged spot-fixing and betting.
The IPL Governing Council has enabled CSK and RR to retain the players who were on their 2015 roster by allowing teams to buy back a maximum of five players at the auction next year. Of the extended player pool, CSK and RR have the option of retaining 19 while 31 players went to other teams.
BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary explained that the player pool available for CSK and RR will be the players who played for them respectively in IPL 2015 and who were part of RPS and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017.
What this effectively means is that players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith, who played for the two suspended teams in 2015 and then joined the two new teams – Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions – can return to their old teams directly.
In simple words, CSK and RR can pick any of their players from the 2015 squad who played for Pune or Gujarat in the last two years. A heartening prospect, if you are a fan of the two teams.
But, this equation also means that the players who were bought by other teams – Sanju Samson and Shane Watson cannot return to CSK and RR directly.
CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended owing to the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, which shook the league to its core and allegedly involved not just players but also some top officials of the two franchises.
So who are the players CSK and RR can get back? Here’s the full list, in one graph.
CSK’s options: MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Faf du Plessis, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Andrew Tye, Irfan Pathan and Ishwar Pandey
RR’s options: Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Ankit Sharma, Rajat Bhatia, James Faulkner and Dhawal Kulkarni