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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Royals retain five, including Watson, Rahane, Faulkner

Royals retain five, including Watson, Rahane, Faulkner

January 10, 2014 18:41 IST

Sanju SamsonRahul Dravid, who retired after finishing on the losing side as captain to Mumbai Indians in last season’s final, will be the team’s mentor.

As expected, Rajasthan Royals retained the services of Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson ahead of the 2014 auction for the Indian Premier League’s seventh season. 

Rajasthan, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008, is the third team after Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians to retain the maximum five players allowed as per the auction rules.

It will see them lose Rs 39 crore of their total salary cap of 60 crore.

Rahul Dravid, who retired after finishing on the losing side as captain to Mumbai Indians in last season’s final, will be the team’s mentor.

"The five retained players are true match-winners, an impressive blend of young talent and experience. They have demonstrated resilience, commitment and a great attitude, embodying the spirit of the Rajasthan Royals team.

“We are confident that under the continued mentorship of the legendary Rahul Dravid the Rajasthan Royals will be a very strong contender in IPL 2014," franchise CEO Raghu Iyer said.

Australian all-rounder Watson is among Rajasthan’s key players for the past six seasons, while Ajinkya Rahane, who represented Mumbai Indians in the first three editions, did well for the Royals since joining them in 2011. He proved his worth on India’s recent tour of South Africa in difficult circumstances.

The 23-year-old James Faulkner is among Australia’s most impressive all-rounders and was one of the revelations of IPL 2013, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Kerala’s 19-year-old wicketkeeper Sanju Samson was the IPL’s biggest find last year. Adjudged the IPL’s best young player of 2013, he has shown maturity, particularly during India’s recent Asia Cup triumph as vice-captain of the under-19 squad.

Stuart Binny also contributed to the team’s performances with both bat and ball. Impressive performances on the domestic circuit this season earned him a berth in India ODI squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Image: Sanju Samson

Photograph: BCCI