What's the story?
Two-time IPL Champions Chennai Super Kings and one-time IPL champions Rajasthan Royals are officially back in the IPL after their two-year ban got over last night. With this, both the teams could feature in the 11th edition of the tournament in 2018.
K George John, one of the directors of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited (CSKCL) is thrilled that the ban is over and has arranged few activities on social media to mark this occasion. He also conceded that brand CSK didn't take a hit in spite of the ban and vowed to bring former Indian and CSK captain MS Dhoni back to the franchise.
"If we are given an option of retaining a player, it will definitely be Dhoni. We haven't yet interacted with Dhoni as his contract with Pune ends later this year. However, we will speak to him in the future as and when we make our plans for the next season," John said in an exclusive interview to ToI.
In case you didn't know...
In July 2015, both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years from taking part in the IPL for their owners' involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
In the absence of CSK and RR, IPL had two new teams in Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions in the last two editions of the IPL. It has been revealed that both the franchises had only a two-year contract with IPL and with the arrival of the finalists of the first season, RPS and GL are likely to leave way. There were some reports that RPS owner Sanjeev Goenka is interested in buying the Royals franchise.
CSK, on the other hand, have already chalked out a plan for next year's IPL auction with Dhoni playing for the Men in Yellow again being the top priority. They are also planning to get back the same set of support staffs (coach Stephan Fleming, bowling coach Andy Bichel, fielding coach Steve Rixon and analyst Lakshmi Narayanan) for the next year's IPL.
Both the teams, along with the six other teams, will want the IPL governing council to give an update about the player retentions ahead of the big auction that has been planned ahead of the 2018 IPL.
It is good to see two Champion sides coming back to the IPL. CSK have been a top side in the past and will be eager to win the tournament to equal Mumbai Indians' record of three IPL wins. Rajasthan will look to mark their return by winning their second IPL title.
It will be interesting to see what the Super Kings and Royals do if there is a player retention in place before the 2018 auction.Published 14 Jul 2017, 10:12 IST