Jaipur: Royals Sports Group-owned franchise Rajasthan Royals on Sunday announced a list of 17 retained players ahead of the Indian Premier League 2024 Auction. The franchise has retained 12 Indians and five overseas players, with nine players (six Indians, three overseas) being released from their contracts. The franchise had also earlier in the week announced that top order batter Devdutt Padikkal was traded to Lucknow Super Giants, with pacer Avesh Khan joining the Royals.
The majority of the Royals squad is made up of players who were also part of their Runners Up finish in IPL 2022, but narrowly missed out on making the Playoffs in IPL 2023. Captain Sanju Samson, Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, England's white ball skipper Jos Buttler, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult, recent men's 50-over World Cup-winner Adam Zampa, West Indies' batter Shimron Hetmyer, Indian internationals Prasidh Krishna, Navdeep Saini, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sandeep Sharma and Kuldeep Sen have been retained by the franchise. The team has also continued with exciting young all-rounder Riyan Parag along with the wicketkeeper-batter trio of South Africa's Donovan Ferreira, Uttar Pradesh's Dhruv Jurel and Rajasthan's Kunal Singh Rathore.
Royals' Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, shared thoughts on the team's strategy behind the retentions. He said, "We had a disappointing season earlier this year where we didn't truly execute as we should have, but given our performances as Runners Up in IPL 2022 where we were so close, we know that the squad we have is capable of bouncing back in our pursuit of competing for the title again. We are excited to be retaining a strong core of players who we believe have the ability to win matches for the team. As a high performance outfit, our goal is to keep refining across various aspects and we have been able to identify the areas where we need to improve considering the different combinations required to win matches during the course of an IPL season."
"On the other hand, every year, this is also a difficult time as you have to let go of some of the players who have contributed immensely to the team and its environment. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they've done for the Royals, and wish them the very best for what's to come," the Sri Lankan legend added.
Please find below the list of players who have been retained and released by the franchise:
Avesh Khan (traded from LSG)
Kunal Singh Rathore
Devdutt Padikkal (traded to LSG)