We wanted IPL teams to retain their character: chairman Ranjib Biswal

Kolkata Knight RidersTop players, who have been retained, will also get a significant hike in payments (IE Photo Kevin D'Souza)

Just eight teams following Pune Warriors' ouster fewer players, a higher salary cap, a 'joker card' and strict anti-corruption measures will make the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) a little different.

Teams will now be allowed to retain a maximum of five players, up from four. These were some of the decisions that taken during the two-day IPL workshop held in Singapore last week.

"We (BCCI) wanted the teams to retain their character. After six years, every team has formed a core group and we didn't want to upset that," IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal said while speaking to The Indian Express.

The teams can also retain another three players through a 'joker card'. By using the 'joker card', a team can buy back a player by matching the highest amount bid for him by another team during the auction. The 'joker card' needs to be used only if a team wishes to retain more than five players.

The number of foreign players too will come down from 11 to nine. "This is due to the fact that squad strength has been reduced from 32 to 27. Now, every team will have nine overseas players and 18 Indians," said Biswal.

Top players, who have been retained, will also get a significant hike in payments. "The logic is simple. Earlier, the retention fee used to be 50 per cent of the total budget cap. Now it has been increased to 64 per cent. So players will be getting more," Biswal explained.

Rupee transactions

In a first, all transactions will be in Indian rupees. "This is to ensure that there's no disparity between the Indian and overseas players. Till the last edition, Indian players used to get their salary in rupees, while the foreigners earned in dollars. And with the fluctuating (rupee versus dollar) rates, the overseas players were gaining more. This time we've decided to standardise the whole process," the IPL chairman said.

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