Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, IPL 2019
Ajinkya Rahane with Steven Smith (Photo Credit: IPL)

According to the latest development, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals which is making a return after two years due to the spot-fixing suspension may not directly retain Australian Steven Smith and country’s premium batter Ajinkya Rahane,

To be precise, the reports suggest Royals management could pick Smith and Rahane while making use of the Right to Match card option in a bid to attempt the cheapest of the auction ploy, as they are bound to give away INR 12.5 crore in retaining the players.

RTM, IPL 11, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings,
Ajinkya Rahane played 111 IPL games in which he scored 3,057 runs at an average of 33.59. He smashed a solitary hundred and 25 fifties. Photo Credit: IPL.

According to the Sportstar, the top-brass of the Royals camp are in double-mind over the retention policy as the RTM card is expected to pick the player with the meagre amount.

It’s has been learnt they are supposed to spend the lesser amount while the initial reports suggested the option of retaining the players means the management has to spend more.

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RTM, IPL 11, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings,
Owner of Rajasthan Royals Manjo Badle as Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane would be having a close eye. Photo Credit Web.

The decision regarding the fresh retention policy was declared on December 6, earlier this month which further saw the franchise own Manjo Badale thinking another way around.

“We recognise that the BCCI’s efforts are towards creating a resilient and competitive tournament, however, we would have preferred a different outcome on this occasion,” Badale was quoted by Sportstar which he revealed to the media after hinting they would have opted for something else.

RTM, IPL 11, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings,
Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane are known for their batting prowess and have been part of Rajasthan Royals Photo Credit: IPL.

Having the different story for Rajasthan while considering the Chennai Super Kings after both teams were suspended for the ninth and tenth edition of the Twenty20 league when the handful of players and members of management were allegedly involved in the 2013 fixing saga which took India cricket by storm.

With management of the Royals tight-lipped following the rules set by the league’s Governing Council, which further gives a hint of not retaining the players, but the body is further expected to come out with the official proclamation soon.

On the other side, making the return after two years, Men in the Yellow team has already retained two players in the form of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and batting mainstay Suresh Raina.

RTM, IPL 11, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings,
Also featuring for Rajasthan Royals, overall Steven Smith played 69 IPL matches since 2012 and he is averaging at 37.02. The right-handed batter scored 1,703 runs which saw him registering one hundred and five fifties. Photo Credit: IPL.

Moreover, the last date for the retained player list has been set for January 4, 2018 (Thursday), as Rahane and Smith were the part of the eighth edition of IPL for Royals before moving to Pune Supergiant(s).

The 28-year-old Smith, who is in wondrous form, has led Supergiant in the tenth edition of IPL after succeeding Dhoni which further saw his side qualifying for the grand finale which was won by Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.

Moreover, regarding the home-base (Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur) suspension which has been already lifted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) is further bound to meet their fate on January 12, 2018, regarding the hosting of matches when the court is expected to give out the verdict.

With things not clear, according to the recently revealed reports, the Royals could play their home games in Indore, Pune and Guwahati if they would not to be any way out.

The sports minister for Jaipur Gajendra Singh Khimsar has also swung into action to access all possible ways in a bid to host IPL fixtures for the eleventh edition of IPL.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor