The auction of new players for the Indian Premier League's second edition will be held on February 6 without a ceiling on the number of "uncapped" cricketers a franchise can acquire, the cash-rich Twenty20 League's governing body said on Wednesday.
"A player auction will be held on February 6, 2009 for new players that did not feature in the IPL 2008 season. All overseas players will, however, require an NOC to play in the IPL," the IPL governing body said in a statement.
"Outside the auction process but subject to the squad composition rules with respect to overseas players, each franchise will have the option to purchase any number of uncapped new players by a direct agreement," it added.
Uncapped players will be the ones who have never played senior international cricket nor have a central contract with their National Association.
Each franchise will have a sum of $2 million to spend on player fees in 2009 for cricketers acquired either in the auction, through signing uncapped new players or re-signing any 2008 temporary replacements.
The decisions were made at a meeting of the franchises in Mumbai on Tuesday to apprise them about the player trading regulations for the 2009 season. The IPL trading window opens on December 22.
"Franchises shall have opportunities during the trading window to trade players -- either by offering to sell a player via trade or expressing an interest to acquire a player -- prior to any trading discussions the player's consent must be obtained," the statement read.
"Negotiations between two franchises should be only with regard to the player fee payable. The other terms of the Player Contract (for example the period of the contract) may not be varied," the statement added.
"This meeting on the Player Trading Regulations is an important step in helping franchises redress the integral balance of their playing squads to make them more competitive," IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said in a statement.
"I am certain that the trading window set to open on Monday will see some active trading, which will only result in significantly improving the competitiveness of the franchises, making for an even more exhilarating and action packed season for the IPL fans in 2009," he added.
Apart from finalising the date of auction, it was decided that the number of international players in the playing XI of the participating teams will remain four. The IPL also decided not to allow temporary replacements by teams during the season.
"The maximum number of international players in each squad will be 10. However, the number of international players in the playing eleven would remain constant at four," the IPL said.
"Squads will not be allowed temporary replacements from 2009 onwards to cover partial unavailability of a player during the season. The only temporary replacements allowed will be in the situation where a player is completely unavailable for a whole IPL season," the statement read.
On the players' salary cap, the IPL said, "The 2008 salary cap will cease to have effect and no unused amount of the 2008 purse can be used in 2009."
"There will be no cap on player fees payable to players acquired by the franchises during the trading window. The trading window is only for players who were part of the IPL in 2008."
During the trading of players on December 22, if more than one franchise is interested in buying a player, the selling franchise will negotiate with all interested.
"The selling franchise shall have the discretion as to which offer to accept. Each Franchise is restricted to purchasing a maximum aggregate of a total of four overseas and Team India players during the trading window subject always to the IPL squad composition rules. There is no limit on the number of players that a franchise can sell," the IPL said.