It's not only the controversial player retention clause set by the IPL governing council, that is keeping the franchises worried but also the pay structure of first-class cricketers, who won't go up for the auctions that is concerning the IPL team owners.
The top brass of various franchises are not really happy about the pay structure of the domestic cricketers which is leading to a lot of confusion.
According to the new pay structure for first-class cricketers, who won't be up for auction (if they haven't played 11 out of the 14 matches last season), those who have made their first-class or List A debut in the 2005-06 season or before, will be paid Rs 30 lakh ($64,500) annually.
The players who first played List A or first-class in 2006-07, 07-08 or 08-09, will be paid Rs 20 lakh ($43,000). For those who have made their debut in 2009-10 or will make their debut in the upcoming 2010-11 would be paid Rs 10 lakh ($21,500).
This is where the franchises are confused.
"When you fix an upper limit, you leave a lot of grey areas. For example, there is a talented domestic cricketer who hasn't played 75 per cent IPL matches last season and has made his debut in 2007-08 will get only Rs 20 lakh. Now this cricketer deserves more money but officially, he will get only Rs 20 lakh," a senior official of western-India based franchise said.
"Now take Pradeep Sangwan's example. The left-arm seamer has played 8 IPL matches last season. So he won't be up for auctions. As per his first-class debut in 2007-08, he will get Rs 20 lakh. Now after playing three IPL editions, don't you think it's unfair for him to get Rs 20 lakh only?
Similarly, if you think of taking someone like Aakash Chopra or a Saurashish Lahiri of Bengal who have made their debuts before 2005, you have to pay them Rs 30 lakh, which is unfair," the official said.
The franchisee owners and their senior management officials are worried that having fixed the upper limit will lead to a lot of confusion and murky dealings.
"Obviously, the agents will come into play and would try to seek a better deal for their contracted players above the salary ceiling," an official of another franchise argued.