Sports Chennai Super Kings

M.S. Dhoni may return as skipper of the Chennai Super Kings. (Chennai Super Kings Twitter photo)

NEW DELHI — In a decision that could see the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the Chennai Super Kings skipper, as well as some of its top players, the Indian Premier League Governing Council has allowed the returning franchises CSK and the Rajasthan Royals to secure the players who represented them in the 2015 edition and were part of the Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions squads in 2017.

It also decided that an IPL franchise can retain or secure through the Right to Match clause a combined total of five players for the 2018 edition of the Twenty20 cricket tournament, it was announced Dec. 6.

An IPL franchise is eligible to secure up to five players by virtue of a combination of player retention (pre-player auction) and Right to Match (during the auction), BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said in a statement.

The decision was made during the IPL Governing Council's meeting with the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators here.

The decision means CSK can call upon the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina and veteran New Zealand star Brendan McCullum. They may also recall West Indies star Dwayne Bravo.

The Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, can secure the services of Australian all-rounders James Faulkner and Shane Watson, opener Aaron Finch and India star Ajinkya Rahane.

CSK and Rajasthan were suspended for two IPL seasons after the tournament was hit by a spot-fixing controversy in 2013.

They were replaced by Rising Pune Supergiants – who employed Dhoni as captain – and the Gujarat Lions.

The IPL Governing Council had allowed a maximum of either three retentions or three Right To Match at the discretion of the franchises. If there is no retention before player auction then the franchises can have up to three ATM.

A franchise can secure a maximum of three capped Indian players and a maximum of two overseas players. A franchise can secure a maximum of two uncapped Indian players.

Meanwhile, the salary cap for teams for the 2018 edition is Rs. 80 crore. It will grow by Rs. 2 and Rs. 3 crore for the next two editions, respectively.

"The minimum spend will be 75 percent of the salary cap for each season," the statement read.

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