Cricket IPL :Sanju Samson named captain Rajasthan Royals, release skipper Steve Smith and seven others

By Harpal Singh Bedi

Cricket IPL: Sanju Samson named captain Rajasthan Royals, release skipper Steve Smith and seven others

New Delhi, 20, January : Sanju Samson was on Wednesday named captain of the  Rajasthan Royals as the franchise released skipper Steve Smith and seven others while retaining 17 players for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Wicket Keeper-batsman Sanju Samson will lead the Royals for the very first time.

Steve Smith, the Royals’ skipper in the last edition will not be retained for the upcoming season of the IPL in 2021. The foreign list of retained players includes Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer. All three English players performed well for the Royals in the last tournament and have been good contributors to the team in the past three years. MVP Jofra Archer, was the top wicket-taker for the Royals in 2020 with twenty wickets, while Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have been vital contributors in the Rajasthan Royals’ important wins in the recent past. In addition to the English trio, David Miller and Andrew Tye have been retained too.

The Royals believe that the retained players present a strong core with a good mix of Indian and international players, who would form a solid base around which the rest of the squad can be built.

The retained contingent have all been active in domestic and international cricket, with the majority of the players doing well in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, while Kartik Tyagi has been part of the victorious Indian team in Australia. 

Cricket IPL: Sanju Samson/Cricket IPL: Sanju Samson/Cricket IPL: Sanju Samson

A Rajasthan Royals release quoted Sanju Samson as saying “It’s an absolute honor to have been announced as the captain of Rajasthan Royals. It’s a team that is so close to my heart, which I’ve been lucky enough to play for over the years, and I’m excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team. “The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I’m so grateful for all the time I’ve spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, and Steve Smith!! I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead’.

Talking about the releases and retention for the season, lead owner – Rajasthan Royals, Manoj Badale said, “We’re happy to retain the core of our squad ahead of IPL 2021. We’ve got a talented group that underperformed overall last season and will be wanting to correct that. It is a well-balanced squad and we are excited for the season ahead.”


. I would especially like to thank Steve Smith for everything that he has done as a leader and captain of the Royals. His contribution on the field, and his contribution off the field, especially towards the development of some of our young players, both as a captain and mentor has been immense.”

Speaking on the captaincy transition, he opined  “The Rajasthan Royals captaincy is a post for which we are lucky to have had so many greats of the game – Warne, Dravid, Watson, Rahane, and most recently Steve Smith. 

“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important. Sanju made his debut as a Royal, and it has been a joy to watch his development over the last 8 years. He is the ideal person to lead the Royals into the 2021 season.”

Retained players:

Sanju Samson,Ben Stokes,Jofra Archer,Jos Buttler,Riyan Parag,Shreyas Gopal,Rahul Tewatia,Mahipal Lomror

Kartik Tyagi,Andrew Tye,Jaydev Unadkat,Mayank Markande,Yashasvi Jaiswal,Anuj Rawat,David Miller,

Manan Vohra,Robin Uthappa

Released Players:

Steve Smith,Ankit Rajpoot,Oshane Thomas Akash Singh,Varun Aaron,Tom Curran,Anirudha Joshi and Shashank Singh


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