Jaipur, Nov 2 (IANS) Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals’ greetings to Jofra Archer on ‘Dhanteras’ could well be a cryptic message that the England fast bowler is likely to be retained by the franchise ahead of the next season of the lucrative league.
The Royals posted a picture of the 26-year-old pace bowler on social media inspecting his gold chain, and tweeted, “Happy #Dhanteras (Grinning face with smiling eyes symbol). #RoyalsFamily @JofraArcher.”
Archer last featured in international cricket in the five-match T20I series against India in February, taking seven wickets at an economy rate of 7.75. He missed the entire IPL 2021 season — in India as well as in the UAE — due to a right elbow injury.
The pace bowler was ruled out of cricketing action for rest of the year in May following a recurrence of the stress fracture in his elbow.
Two days back, on October 31, the Royals had re-tweeted a video by English county side Durham of Ben Stokes batting at the nets, hinting that the franchise could possibly retain the England all-rounder ahead of IPL 2022. The video showed the stylish left-hand batter fluently playing a pull shot and a drive, indicating that he has recovered fully from the finger surgery he underwent to repair a fracture.
Rajasthan Royals had tweeted, “Sunday St(r)okes. (Fire symbol). #RoyalsFamily, @benstokes38.”
Though it’s not official yet, the eight existing IPL teams are likely to retain a maximum of four players and the two new franchises — Lucknow and Ahmedabad — will be able to acquire three players from the rest of the player pool via drafts before the 2022 auction.
Also, unlike the previous big auction ahead of the 2018 season, there could be no right-to-match cards (RTM) at the auction, likely to be held in January 2022.
The Royals fans were quick to express their views with some saying that Stokes should definitely be retained, while others opined that Archer, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson should be in the side for the next season.