Rajasthan Royals might not retain Ajinkya Rahane or Steve Smith

Both players played for Rajasthan before turning out for the Pune franchise
Both players played for Rajasthan before turning out for the Pune franchise

What's the story?

With just a few days to go before the final date for the teams to provide their retention list, it looks as though Rajasthan Royals' list might not have any players on theirs. It looks likely that the Royals will just use their two Right to Match (RTM) cards and get the services of the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith instead of retaining either of them directly.

According to Sportstar, the bosses at the Royals aren't keen on retaining any of their players and are likely to just use the RTM to get the likes of Smith and Rahane, if they so desire, as that would give them the chance to get the player that they want for a much cheaper price at the auction.

In case you didn't know...

The rules for retention were set in the IPL governing council meeting. According to the rules for the 11th edition of the IPL, each team can retain a maximum of three players and use two RTM cards, taking the total number of players that they can retain to five. Teams can opt to retain three and use two RTMs or retain two and use three RTMs and keep a maximum of five players.

The heart of the matter

While most teams have the luxury of having the option of picking from the squad from last season, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings can only retain players who played for them in IPL 2015 and then moved to either Gujarat Lions or Rising Pune Supergiant. That means that the pool of players that RR can retain is limited, with the likes of James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith on the list while one of their key performers in 2015, Chris Morris unavailable. And it looks as though the Royals bosses want a clean slate.

After the decisions were taken on December 6, Royals owner, Manoj Badale, said: “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”.

What's next?

With the IPL Auction set to take place at the end of January, the IPL franchises have to submit the list of players they want to retain for next season by Thursday (January 4). It remains to be seen if the Royals opt to not retain any player from their 2015 IPL squad.

Author's take

With the options limited, RR will have to spend at least INR 12.5 crore to retain just a single player and considering the fact that the likes of Rahane and Smith might not fetch that amount, it certainly makes sense for the team to use their Right to Match card. While an all-rounder like Faulkner might go for big money, considering his recent return, even he doesn't seem like a player franchises will spend over 10 crores on, so the decision certainly makes sense from a financial point of view.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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