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Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane (in pic above), along with Stuart Binny, Shane Watson and James Faulkner have been retained by RR

Rajasthan Royals have decided to retain Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Shane Watson & James Faulkner ahead of the IPL 2014 auctions.

Although the franchise are yet to make an official announcement, ESPNCricinfo have confirmed that the five players have all signed their contracts.

Royals were reportedly very keen on retaining the core of a team which finished 3rd in last year’s IPL and went on to become runners up in the Champions League T20 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid.

With Dravid now retired, the responsibility of leading the side could go to Australian international Shane Watson. The Rajasthan side also have the option to exercise their “rights to match” card & it will be a surprise if they don’t utilize the card on Australian T20 specialist Brad Hodge.