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Rajasthan Royals retain English cricket stars for 2019 IPL season

Jos Butler and  Ben Stokes retained by Rajasthan Royals
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes retained by Rajasthan Royals
©Rajasthan Royals

November 15, 2018: England international stars Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler have been retained by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League season.

The IPL franchise has put its faith in the English pair, who joined the Royals last season, to bring glory back to the team which reached the play-offs last season and won the inaugural season of the IPL.

Buttler showed off his explosive form throughout with a number of match-winning innings to score 548 runs and end with the highest batting average in the team at 54.8 – form which earned him a recall to the England Test team.

Buttler said, “I couldn’t wish for a better franchise to be a part of – it felt like a family last season and I can’t wait to get back out amongst the team. It is great to play with Stokesy and I really hope the fans back home in England will get behind us as players and choose the Royals as their team to support.

“Last season was a fantastic experience and went so well. I’m looking to build on that moving into 2019 and hopefully we can go all the way this time” added Buttler.

The £1.4million man Stokes will be looking to get back to his 2017 form in which he was named the IPL’s Most Valuable Player in what promises to be an exciting year for the England man with the IPL followed by a home World Cup and Ashes in the summer.

Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, added, “We believe that retaining the likes of Jos and Ben will be vital to the success of the team in the upcoming IPL season. It’s fantas-tic for us to be able to secure such massive names from English cricket. They were an important part of the team both on and off the field last season and we love having them as part of the Roy-als family.”

Also retained is the impressive young fast bowler, Jofra Archer. Sussex’s Barbadian-born Eng-lish cricketer was spectacular in his first IPL season, with his 15 wickets at 21.66 being the best return in the team. The 23-year-old has committed to play for England once he qualifies on completion of four years residency.

The Rajasthan Royals will also be able to call upon the Nottinghamshire Outlaws T20 Blast winning overseas player Ish Sodhi, the New Zealand leg-spinner also being retained by the franchise.

Manoj Badale, Lead Owner Rajasthan Royals said, "We are extremely satisfied with the team we built in 2018 and hence will be retaining a majority of the players. We have a terrific atmosphere in and around the squad and it was a pleasure to be a part of the extended Royals family on and off the field.”

“We believe we have some serious quality in this current team to have another successful tourna-ment, however, there are always areas that can be strengthened, which is what we will be look-ing to do in the auction.”

Eyes will now be on the IPL Auction in December to see if the Royals add any additional UK talent to their roster.

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©Cricket World 2018