The champions of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals, have released 11 of their players from last season (including left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat and four overseas players), ahead of IPL 2020 auction in Kolkata on December 19.
This is not the first time that Unadkat is being released by the Jaipur franchise. Bought for a whopping Rs 11.5 crore during the IPL 2018 auction, he had been released at the end of the season. Again, Unadkat was bagged by Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019 auction for a hefty sum of Rs 8.4 crore. However, the left-arm pacer’s IPL record last season was not exceptional; he scalped only 10 wickets in 11 matches with an economy rate of 10.66.
Besides, Rajasthan Royals traded Ajinkya Rahane to Delhi Capitals for Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia. Rahane led Royals in 24 of the team’s 100 matches between 2011 and 2019. He was also the leading run-getter for the franchise (2,810 runs at an average of 34.23 and a strike rate of 122.65). The India cricket team vice-captain in Test cricket, Rahane also hit two centuries and 17 fifties for the Jaipur franchise.
In a controversial decision, Rahane was replaced as captain by Steve Smith in the middle of the 2019 season. This was even as he scored 393 runs in 14 matches at 32.75 and smashed an unbeaten century (105). The Royals franchise also traded Krishnappa Gowtham to Kings XI Punjab and got Ankit Rajpoot to strengthen their pace unit.
Among the retained players is charismatic Australian batsman Steve Smith, who will likely lead the side, as his captaincy ban ends in March 2020.
Here is the full list of players retained, traded and released by Rajasthan Royals:
Players Retained: Steve Smith (captain), Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Mahipal Lomror, Varun Aaron, Manan Vohra
Players traded in: Rahul Tewatia, Mayank Markande, Ankit Rajpoot
Players Released: Ashton Turner, Oshane Thomas, Shubham Ranjane, Prashant Chopra, Ish Sodhi, Aryaman Birla, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Tripathi, Stuart Binny, Liam Livingstone, Sudheshan Midhun.