Rajasthan Royals retains captain Sanju Samson


Sanju Samson becomes the first player to keep Rajasthan Royals for the 2022 IPL. ESPNcricinfo has learned that after agreeing to a contract of INR 14 crore per season, the 27-year-old will continue as captain this week.

Samson is known to be number one on the list of players who wanted to keep Royals before the retention window closes on November 30th. The front runners for the remaining three slots (in no particular order) are - wicketkeeper batter Jos Buttler, fast bowler Jofra Archer, all-rounder Liam Livingstone - and uncapped opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Samson joined Royals in 2018 for INR 8 crore. He was promoted to captain last season and while unable to get the team into the play-offs, he finished 2021 with 484 runs with a hit rate of 137.

Ben Stokes (INR 12.5 crore), Archer (INR 7.2 crore) and Buttler (INR 4.4 crore) also cost the royals a lot of money, but they were players to great effect. Archer was even named Player of the Tournament in 2020, but had to sit out this year due to an injury. Royals management is keen to hold onto their fast-paced star bowler, but his fitness has become a point of contention.

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Buttler is expected to sign the keep soon, but Stokes' position is unclear. Although the talisman all-rounder took a hiatus from cricket in 2021 and has only just returned to training, the key question for him is the money and whether the franchise will have enough of it to make an offer.

According to the IPL rules, a team can keep a total of four players, of which a maximum of two can be abroad. This arrangement costs INR 42 crore, but still leaves INR 48 crore to spend at the auction. The Royals are expected to seal the final three withholdings by November 28th. And while you are paying Samson INR 14 crore, INR 16 crore will be debited from your account as he is the first of four players to keep the franchise.