Rajasthan Royals have announced their retention list ahead of the 2021 mini-IPL auctions. The inaugural IPL champions have released as many as 17 players from their 2020 squad which includes the newly appointed skipper Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Robin Uthappa, Mayank Markande, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal and Manan Vohra.
The franchise has decided to release Australian legend and their captain Steve Smith ahead of the mini-auction which is set to take place next month.
Smith, who was appointed as captain of the inaugural IPL champions mid-way through the 2019 edition, was underwhelmed with his performances both as a captain as well as a batsman.
After having started the 2020 season with two consecutive half-centuries, Steve Smith’s form tapered off substantially as he managed a mere 311 runs in 14 games at an average of 25.91 and a strike-rate of 131.
Even as a leader, Steve Smith proved to be uninspiring as he failed to zero in on a potent playing 11 throughout the season despite making a plethora of changes. The Royals eventually finished with a wooden spoon.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 20, 2021
With Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, already a lock in the first-choice XI, Smith’s presence as captain was blocking a spot for overseas options like David Miller. With Smith departing from the scene, Rajasthan Royals have appointed Sanju Samson as captain for the 2021 edition. Also, Kumar Sangakkara has been appointed as the ‘Director of cricket’.
Rajasthan Royals IPL 2020 squad:
Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Anuj Rawat
List of retained players:
Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Robin Uthappa, Mayank Markande, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, and Manan Vohra
List of released players:
Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas