Rajasthan Royals retain Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson

MUMBAIRajasthan Royals today announced that the team has retained Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson ahead of the 2014 auction. The five players, retained according to the IPL rules, will continue to represent the team as it prepares for the upcoming 7th season of the Indian Premier League.

The seasoned Rajasthan Royals players form the backbone of the squad and they personify the team’s philosophy and ethos perfectly. Shane Watson, the Australian all-rounder, who has been the most valuable player in two of the six IPL seasons, enters his 7th season with the team, having played a pivotal role in the team’s campaigns year after year.

India’s Ajinkya Rahane is continuing to grow from strength to strength. The talented top-order batsman has contributed immensely with his batting and fielding. He demonstrated his class against South Africa in difficult circumstances recently.

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 2nd highest wicket taker in the tournament. His performances for Rajasthan Royals saw him get picked for the Ashes.

Teen sensation, Kerala’s 19-year-old wicket-keeper Sanju Samson is considered to be the IPL’s best finds last year. Adjudged best young player of IPL 2013, his calmness and composure belies his years. His intelligence and maturity has impressed one and all along with his exquisite cricketing skills.

Stuart Binny has contributed to the team’s performances with both bat and ball when it counts showing his match finishing skills on a number of occasions. He has been performing impressively in the domestic circuit and has been selected for India for the upcoming international tour of New Zealand.

Raghu Iyer, CEO, Rajasthan Royals, said, “As a team, we have been very fortunate to have a number of truly talented cricketers who have come forward to perform at times when it has mattered the most. 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”

All three Indians who have been retained are young players doing immensely well in the domestic and international circuit. Rajasthan Royals has always been at the forefront in terms of recognising fresh Indian talent and giving them a platform to display their skills at an international level.