IPL 2022 | Long-term injury of Jofra Archer forced Rajasthan Royals to not retain him, reveals Kumar Sangakkara

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Jofra Archer scalped 20 wickets from 14 matches in IPL 2020

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IPL 2022 | Long-term injury of Jofra Archer forced Rajasthan Royals to not retain him, reveals Kumar Sangakkara

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SportsCafe Desk

12/01/2021

Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara has stated that the uncertainty around Jofra Archer's long-term injury has forced the team management to go against retaining the all-rounder. He further added that considering the player availability for the IPL, Ben Stokes was not retained.

Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday announced their list of retained players ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. The franchise retained their captain Sanju Samson, wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler, and swashbuckling opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for the 15th edition of the tournament. The Rajasthan-based franchise retained Samson for a whopping 14 crores, whereas Buttler will be paid 10 crores, and Jaiswal will draw a salary of 4 crores.

However, the omission of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes was shocking for fans and experts as both the England cricketers have contributed significantly to the franchise in the past. Archer scalped 20 wickets from 14 matches in IPL 2020, but the all-rounder did not feature in a single match in IPL 2021 due to a long-term injury.

Reflecting on Archer's exclusion from the retention list, Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, stated that the uncertainty around the all-rounder's injury forced them to not retain him for the 15th edition of the tournament.

“We did everything to ascertain the nature of the injury, the recovery period. There hasn't been a phenomenon like Jofra Archer in any form of cricket, especially T20 cricket. We had to take a lot of factors into consideration while making the decision and would have ideally liked to have gone with four players but the uncertainty surrounding Jofra’s long-term injury forced us to retain only three,” in a video uploaded on the official Twitter handle of the franchise

Ben Stokes featured in eight matches for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 and scored 285 runs in the tournament. In the 2021 edition, Stokes could feature in only one game for the franchise as he was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining a finger injury.

Sangakkara reckoned that Stokes has been a brilliant all-rounder for the franchise in the past, but the team management have considered the number of retentions available and the player availability throughout the tournament. 

“Ben Stokes is the best all-rounder I have seen in a very long time. [He's] an absolute match-winner and he has shown that for Rajasthan Royals. Absolutely brilliant as a team man, brilliant in a leadership role. He just brings his amazing energy to the field. We had to consider the number of retentions possible. Player availability, in terms of how much of the tournament that a player is available for,” he explained.

Sangakkara further added that Archer and Stokes will understand the franchise's reasoning behind the move.

“It’s extremely difficult. They are two of the best players in the world at the moment. And I know the players themselves understand our reasoning, even though they may be disappointed. I am sure they are, as we are as a franchise. All these dynamics come into play," elaborated Sangakkara.

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