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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

IPL cricket's move to increase wage cap 'in the interest of players'

India's annual Twenty20 league competition, held over eight weeks, approves 20 per cent rise, with teams likely to spend between $72m-96m on players alone

Ben Stokes was the most expensive player in the IPL last season. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP
Ben Stokes was the most expensive player in the IPL last season. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

The Indian Premier League (IPL), one of the world's richest sports competitions, will let teams splurge up to US$12 million (Dh44m) each on player salaries in 2018, an increase of 20 per cent.

After a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, the IPL governing council also said teams will have to spend a minimum of 75 per cent of the salary cap each season.

The decision means the eight IPL teams are likely to spend anywhere between $72m and $96m on players alone for just eight weeks of cricketing action in 2018.

"Whatever changes we have come up with are all in the interest of the players," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told AFP. "We are also looking to increase the prize money for the players in future."

While most of India's big-name players are already attached to franchises, several players bagged lucrative deals in the IPL auction in February.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes set a new record for a foreigner by joining the Rising Pune Supergiants for more than $2m.

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England pace bowler Tymal Mills went to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $1.8m, even though he had only played four Twenty20 internationals before that.

The attractions of last-ball winning sixes, extravagant switch-hitting and rapid-fire centuries have made IPL a favourite of the masses, especially the younger generation.

The IPL's 60 games are valued at roughly $8.5m each, not far off the estimated $9.6m per English Premier League match - and well over the $6.2m price tag attached to home internationals in India.