Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals Friday retained Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson ahead of the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction next month.
The five players, retained on the day of the players’ retention deadline, will continue to represent the team as it prepares for the tournament’s seventh edition.
The players form the backbone of the squad.
Australian all-rounder Watson, who has been the most valuable player in two of the six IPL seasons, enters the seventh season with the team.
India batsman Rahane has contributed immensely with his batting and fielding. He demonstrated his class with a 96 against South Africa in Durban last month.
Twenty-three-year-old Faulkner is among Australia’s most impressive all-rounders and was one of the revelations of IPL 2013 finishing as the second highest wicket taker in the tournament.
Kerala’s 19-year-old wicket-keeper Samson is considered to be one of IPL’s finds last year. Adjudged best young player of the 2013 edition, his calmness and composure belies his years. His intelligence and maturity has impressed one and all along with his exquisite cricketing skills.
All-rounder Binny has performed impressively in the domestic circuit and has been selected for India for the upcoming international tour of New Zealand.
Rajasthan Royals CEO Raghu Iyer 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. 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.”