VIVO Indian Premier League – More Player Movements and Updates - Rajasthan Royals
England’s Cricket World Cup winners Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler have been retained by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the VIVO Indian Premier League 2020 season.
The IPL franchise has put its faith in the English trio, who all featured for the Royals last season, after their heroics in an exciting summer of cricket for England. The English Royals will be joined by star Australian batsman Steve Smith, who will lead the team.
New captain Smith said: “It's an honour to be named the Rajasthan Royals captain for the 2020 season. It’s been a pleasure leading the Royals in previous years and I can't wait to play alongside this extremely talented squad, plus those we pick up in the auction!
“After a summer of some of the toughest cricket I can remember against the England boys in the World Cup and the Ashes I'm looking forward to having three of them on my team this time around. Everyone knows that Ben, Jos and Jofra are three of the finest cricketers in the world so it is going to be a fantastic tournament teaming up with them."
As the Royals continue to grow their fanbase in the UK, the three Englishmen will be representing the Royals for the third successive season after wowing cricket fans across the globe during the World Cup and Ashes. With the 2020 ICC Men's T20 World Cup World coming up after the IPL, the trio will be able to prime themselves as a group for a shot at a second world title.
Archer, who was man-of-the match in his first ever Royals game, said: “I have loved my time in the IPL, so it is a great feeling to know I’ll be back next year playing for the Royals. I am looking forward to teaming up with the Royals family once again and doing my best to help the team win as many games as possible.
“After the summer we’ve had as an England team it will be great to continue playing with the likes of Stokesy and Jos and I hope the fans back home in England will get behind us and support the Royals. It is going to be a huge IPL for us, a great chance to play t20 cricket of the highest level and test ourselves against the best in the world ahead of the World Cup.”
Andrew McDonald, Head Coach for Rajasthan Royals, added: “England has some of the finest white ball players in the world and there aren’t many better than Ben, Jos and Jofra. We believe that retaining the likes of Jofra, Jos and Ben will be vital to the success of the team in the upcoming 2020 IPL season. It’s a real statement from us to retain three World Cup winners and the key protagonists from the Ashes, adding Steve Smith to that, and we can’t wait to see them all in action together in Royals pink.”
Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone has not been retained for IPL 2020 after a mutual decision.
Livingstone said: “It was a fantastic experience to play for the Rajasthan Royals last year. I loved every second, learned a lot, the boys were great and I was delighted to play my part. However, I’m going to have an increased focus on red ball cricket next summer, so the decision was made to stay in England for this.”
Manoj Badale, Lead Owner of the Rajasthan Royals, said: "We have some exciting plans to continue to build upon our presence in the UK investing in grassroots cricket in order to develop talent.
Retaining the likes of Jos, Ben and Jofra gives us a great platform on which to build, inspiring the next generation of players in the UK to strive to play at the highest level.
“Retaining these top players, along with our young, explosive Indian talent, has given us a world-class squad for the 2020 season even before December’s auction. We can’t wait for April!”
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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