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Rajasthan Royals retain playing core for IPL 2021, Sanju Samson named captain
New Delhi, January 20, 2021
Rajasthan Royals today announced that they would retain 17 players for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and release the remaininng eight, and also named Sanju Samson as their captain for the first time.
"The Royals believe that the retained players present a strong core with a good mix of Indian and international players, who would form a solid base around which the rest of the squad can be built," a press release from the IPL franchise said.
"The retained contingent have all been active in domestic and international cricket, with the majority of the players doing well in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, while Kartik Tyagi has been part of the victorious Indian team in Australia," it said.
Steve Smith, the Royals’ skipper in the last edition will not be retained for the coming season of the IPL in 2021.
The foreign list of retained players includes Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer. All three English players performed well for the Royals in the last tournament and have been good contributors to the team in the past three years. Jofra Archer, who won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in IPL 2020, was the top wicket-taker for the Royals in 2020 with twenty wickets, while Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have been vital contributors in the Rajasthan Royals’ important wins in the recent past.
In addition to the English trio, David Miller and Andrew Tye have been retained too.
“We’re happy to retain the core of our squad ahead of IPL 2021. We've got a talented group that underperformed overall last season and will be wanting to correct that. It is a well balanced squad and we are excited for the season ahead," Rajasthan Royals lead owner Manoj Badale said.
“We would like to thank all of the players for their effort through the course of the previous seasons, and for always maintaining the Rajasthan Royals values. I would especially like to thank Steve Smith for everything that he has done as a leader and captain of the Royals. His contribution on the field, and his contribution off the field, especially towards the development of some of our young players, both as a captain and mentor has been immense," he said.
On the captaincy transition, Manoj said, : “The Rajasthan Royals captaincy is a post for which we are lucky to have had so many greats of the game – Warne, Dravid, Watson, Rahane, and most recently Steve Smith. Steve has been a great player and great leader for the Royals, and we want to thank him for his contribution to the franchise.
“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important. Sanju made his debut as a Royal, and it has been a joy to watch his development over the last 8 years. He is the ideal person to lead the Royals into the 2021 season," he said.
Samson said, “It’s an absolute honour to have been announced as the captain of Rajasthan Royals. It’s a team that is so close to my heart, which I’ve been lucky enough to play for over the years, and I’m excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team. The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I'm so grateful for all the time I've spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith!! I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead.”
The following are the retained players: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra and Robin Uthappa.
The following are the released players: Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Akash Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Anirudha Joshi and Shashank Singh.