The deadline for the eight franchises to submit the lists of retained and released players for the next edition of the lucrative league ended on Wednesday.
Samson was appointed to the top job after RR decided against renewing former skipper Steve Smith’s contract.
A new chapter begins now. 🚨Say hello to your Royals captain. #SkipperSanju | #HallaBol | #IPL2021 |… https://t.co/SkKfMhBudf
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1611146588000
“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important,” said RR owner Manoj Badale in a statement.
“Sanju made his debut as a Royal, and it has been a joy to watch his development over the last 8 years. He is the ideal person to lead the Royals into the 2021 season,” he added.
Smith’s contract ended in October 2020.
Forever a Royal…💗Some special memories Smudge. 🤝#RoyalsFamily | @stevesmith49 https://t.co/esOSQVtAtP
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1611144384000
The Australians, smarting from a Test series loss to an injury-plagued India, took a hit as the likes of the explosive Glenn Maxwell and opener Aaron Finch too were released by Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.
Also released by KXIP were West Indies all-rounder Sheldon Cottrell, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham, who underwent a surgery recently to treat an injured finger.
#IPL2021 will 👀 these Kings play for us again! 😍#SaddaPunjab https://t.co/L3a53VQsw5
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) 1611146922000
CSK’s Harbhajan Singh and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga were among the other big names to be released by their respective sides ahead of next month’s auction.
Harbhajan was joined by the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay who were also let go by the franchise.
Thank you for all the #Yellove outings, Bhajju pa! Keep spreading the Pulamai, everywhere you go! #WhistlePodu 💛🦁… https://t.co/xuWYSVQOZV
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) 1611145999000
Also released by MI was Sherfane Rutherford, while Delhi Capitals decided to enter the next edition without English batsman Jason Roy, wicketkeeper Alex Carey, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and seamer Mohit Sharma.
Malinga had been a prominent part of MI’s title-winning campaigns in the past though he was not there last time due to personal reasons.
We’ve released 7️⃣ players ahead of #IPL2021!🗞 Read more👇#OneFamily #MumbaiIndianshttps://t.co/Ml6CCGVDtg
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) 1611148440000
Under Smith’s captaincy, inaugural edition champions RR finished last in the 2020 IPL when the star Australian batsman played all the 14 league matches, scoring 311 runs at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries.
Ahead of the 2018 IPL, Smith was the only player retained by the Royals for Rs 12.5 crore. The same year, he was appointed as the captain.
However, his impact came under the scanner after the team’s disastrous outing in the UAE last year.
“I am excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team,” said new captain Samson.
“The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I’m so grateful for all the time I’ve spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith!! I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead.”
The seasoned Raina was retained by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK notwithstanding his sudden departure from the last IPL in the UAE.
It is believed the three-time winners decided to continue with Raina in order to bolster the batting order that struggled during a forgettable last season, which culminated in a seventh-place finish and a league-stage elimination for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2008.
The left-handed Raina has been an integral part of the Super Kings from the beginning, emerging as their highest scorer while guiding them to two IPL titles.
Stoinis made useful contributions in the 2020 edition and helped the Capitals reach their first-ever IPL final.
Batting mostly in the middle order, he amassed 352 runs at an average of 25.14 and a strike rate of 148.52.
With the ball, he took 13 wickets at an economy of 9.53.
With Rs 15 lakh left, the Super Kings had the smallest purse after the last auction and this would significantly improve for next month’s auction. Kings XI Punjab had the largest at Rs 16.5 crore before Wednesday.
Before Wednesday’s releases, Rajasthan Royals had Rs 14.75 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad (10.1 crore), Delhi Capitals (9 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (8.5 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.4 crore), and Mumbai Indians (1.95 crore).