Royals Sports Group-owned franchise Rajasthan Royals has revealed a list of retained players ahead of the Indian Premier League 2022 mega auction. The franchise has retained two Indians and one overseas player in the form of their influential skipper Sanju Samson, uncapped fearless young batter Yashasvi Jaiswal, along with England's talismanic star Jos Buttler.
Having appointed Sanju Samson as their leader before the 2021 season, the Royals have chosen the mercurial batter as the first retained player, with Rs 14 crores coming off their purse. The right-handed batter has amassed 3068 runs in 121 IPL matches with a strike rate of 134.20 since making his debut with the Royals back in 2013, spending seven seasons with the franchise.
"Having started my IPL journey with the Royals, and now leading this franchise is a huge honour for me as we look to further strengthen our roots with an eye on the IPL trophy yet again with both - familiar and fresh faces - but strong hearts," stated Sanju Samson in an official release.
Meanwhile, the Royals' second retained player at a cost of Rs 10 crores is the 50-over World Cup-winning Englishman, Jos Buttler, who is considered by many as the best T20I batter in the world currently. His superlative performances for both the Royals and the England National Team have stood out over the years, and with 1968 runs under his belt in 65 IPL matches at a strike rate of 150, the 31-year-old will serve as a vital player for the franchise.
"I'm really excited to be staying with the Rajasthan Royals. Over the past four seasons, I've received tremendous love and support from the franchise and its supporters, and I consider the Royals as my second home. I'm delighted to be continuing with the team and looking forward to contributing towards creating a champion side," said Jos Buttler upon finalizing his stay at the Royals.
Uncapped 19-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal becomes the second-youngest player ever to be retained across all IPL teams before the mega auction, with the youngest being Jaiswal's current skipper at the Royals - Sanju Samson, who was retained at the age of 19 years and 2 months by the franchise in 2014.
Jaiswal was bought by the Royals in the 2020 Auction for a sum of Rs 2.4 crores, and has since played 13 matches in all, impressing with a tally of 249 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 148.21 in IPL 2021. The franchise has decided to back his potential as an explosive top order batter which sees the confident looking left-hander being retained as the third player by the Royals for Rs 4 crores.
"It is a very satisfying reward for the hard work that I've put in over the past couple of seasons. To have the backing of the franchise - the owner, coaches and management - is a huge motivating factor for me, and I can't wait to repay the faith that has been shown in me. To be in a team which is known to hone and give opportunities to young talent, I couldn't be happier and excited for what is to come," expressed an emotional Jaiswal.
Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara spoke on the approach behind the retention: "We had to take a lot of factors into consideration while making this decision and would have ideally liked to have gone with four players but the uncertainty surrounding Jofra's long term injury forced us to retain only three. The idea behind going with these players was to have a strong core retained who also happen to form the leadership team at the Royals, while also giving us spending power in the auction."
"It was certainly a tough decision to make, but we are delighted to confirm that Sanju, Jos and Yashasvi will be staying with us as the backbone of our team. We believe that this trio of explosive players are the best to take this team forward, and have the desired qualities that we are looking for in our players as we look forward to the next season. We would also like to thank all of the players for their efforts through the course of the previous seasons, and for always maintaining the Rajasthan Royals values," he added.