With cricketing legends like Rahul Dravid [ Images ] and Shane Warne [ Images ] already in their ranks, Rajasthan Royals [ Images ] have now signed talented swing bowler Deepak Chahar and former India opener Aakash Chopra for the next two editions of the Indian Premier League [ Images ].
The Royals, winners of the cash-rich T20 League in its inaugural season in 2008, also signed up two other Rajasthan Ranji players -- former India under-19 captain Ashok Meneria and Dishant Yagnik.
The Jaipur [ Images ] franchise had successfully bid for lanky pacer Pankaj Singh, one of the architects of Rajasthan's entry into the ongoing Ranji Trophy final against Baroda at Vadodara and their leading wicket-taker in the championship.
Royals CEO Sean Morris expressed happiness at the signings and said it marked the franchise's commitment towards Rajasthan cricket.
"We are delighted to announce the signings of the Rajasthan players. It underlines our commitment to cricket in the state of Rajasthan and we will continue to work closely with the local cricket associations who have done such a fine job of developing these players.
"We see huge opportunity for our local players to further improve their skills through joining the IPL team full of international stars who will only add to their cricketing experience," he added.
Rajasthan Cricket Association president and Union Minister C P Joshi and its secretary Sanjay Dixit also welcomed the signings of the Rajasthan Ranji team members.
"We appreciate the initiative taken by the Rajasthan Royals towards including five Rajasthani players in their IPL squad. RCA and Rajasthan Royals are committed to development of cricket in Rajasthan from grassroots level and will work jointly towards talent development," Joshi said.
"We are very happy that the local talent in Rajasthan has been recognised by the Royals and we eagerly look forward to their representation for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL," Dixit said.
"We hope that each of these players grabs this opportunity and, under the guidance of legends like Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid, these boys will make a mark for themselves and Rajasthan at the international level," the RCA secretary added.