Smith, Warner to make IPL return next year

David Warner who missed the last IPL season has been retained

David Warner who missed the last IPL season has been retained

Apart from Smith, Royals also retained their England stars in Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and New Zealand´s Ish Sodhi.

Former Australia captain Steve Smith missed the 2018 tournament following the ball-tampering scandal - the IPL Governing Council making the call to withdraw him and Sunrisers Hyderabad's David Warner - but the 29-year-old is now in line to make his return next spring, along with Warner. The Indian players retained by the Royals are Ajinkya Rahane, Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, S. Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Mahipal Lomror.

That had forced Royals to bring in South African Heinrich Klaasen.

Royals and Sunrisers have not named their captains for the upcoming season.

Dilhara Lokuhettige: Ex-Sri Lanka all-rounder charged with corruption
He was recently seen allegedly talking about a fix in Al Jazeera's "Cricket's Match Fixers" documentary, which was aired in May. He also said the explosion of T20s and other tournaments had created fertile ground for those trying to corrupt players.

While that ban has no impact on their ability to play in the IPL, it could mean they are able to turn out in the lucrative tournament before other Australian domestic players.

Chris Woakes, Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Tom Curran are among a number of England players to have been released from franchises. Jaydev Unadkat, who was bought for a whopping 11.5 crore by the franchise in the last auctions is the biggest casualty as he has been released by the team. Unadkat, however, had a average outing on the field as he picked up just nine wickets in the tournament.

Australian opening batsman D'Arcy Short is the big name among the worldwide players who have received the boot from the franchise.

Coming to the list of released players, the Royals also released South African fast-medium bowler Dane Paterson and chinaman Zahir Khan from Afghanistan along with Dushmantha Chameera from Sri Lanka. "We have a terrific atmosphere in and around the squad and it was a pleasure to be a part of this during all my visits last season", Royals' lead owner, Manoj Badale, said. "However, there are always areas that can be strengthened, which is what we will be looking to do in the auction", he added. "He is really excited to be back performing on the biggest stage in T20 cricket and we are extremely pleased to have him in our side", Rajasthan Royals' head of cricket, Zubin Bharucha, said.

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