IPL 2022 Retention: Why did Rajasthan Royals release Stokes and Archer? RR's Director of Cricket Sangakkara explains
IPL 2022 Retention: England's Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are two of the biggest superstars of world cricket at the moment. So, why didn't inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals retain them? RR's Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara sheds some light on their decision.
One of the biggest surprises, rather shocks, of the entire IPL 2022 Retention process was the exclusion of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes from the list of players retained. Two of the biggest superstars of the game, both England regulars when fit, were expected to be the first names on the Rajasthan Royals' list but it wasn't the case and RR Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara explained why.
While speaking in a video uploaded on the official Twitter handle of the franchise, Sangakkara first praised Stokes and Archer and then went on to reveal the reasoning behind their astonishing decision.
“It’s extremely difficult. They are two of the best players in the world at the moment. Ben Stokes is the best all-rounder I have seen in a very long time. [He's] an absolute match-winner and he has shown that for Rajasthan Royals. Absolutely brilliant as a team man, brilliant in a leadership role. He just brings his amazing energy to the field. We had to consider the number of retentions possible. Player availability, in terms of how much of the tournament that a player is available for. It's the same with Jofra. We did everything to ascertain the nature of the injury, the recovery period. There hasn't been a phenomenon like Jofra Archer in any form of cricket, especially T20 cricket. And I know the players themselves understand our reasoning, even though they may be disappointed. I am sure they are, as we are as a franchise. All these dynamics come into play," elaborated Sangakkara.
Upon a brief study of their stats over the last two years, RR's move to release them into the auction does begin to make sense. Ben Stokes played 8 matches in 2020, scoring 285 and bagging a mere 2 wickets. In the 2021 edition, he only played one before sustaining a finger injury. On the other hand, Archer bagged 14 wickets in 14 matches during IPL 2020 but didn't feature in a single game in the 2020 edition due to a long injury layoff.
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