One of the biggest surprises, rather shocking, of the entire IPL 2022 retention process was the exclusion of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes from the list of retained players. Two of the game’s biggest superstars, both England regular and fit, were expected to be the first names on the Rajasthan Royals list, but that was not the case and RR director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara explained why.
While speaking in a video uploaded to the franchise’s official Twitter account, Sangakkara first praised Stokes and Archer and then went on to reveal the reasoning behind their surprising decision.
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“It’s very difficult. They’re two of the best players in the world right now. Ben Stokes is the best all-rounder I’ve seen in a very long time. [He’s] an absolute match winner and that he has shown for Rajasthan Royals. Absolutely brilliant as a team man, brilliant in a leadership role. He just brings his tremendous energy to the field. We had to consider the number of possible retentions. Player availability, in terms of how much of the tournament a player is available for. So it is with Jofra. We have done everything we can to determine the nature of the injury, the recovery time. There has been no 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’m sure they are, as we are as a franchisee. All this dynamic comes into play, “Sangakkara said.
After a brief study of their statistics over the last two years, RR’s movement to release them in the auction begins to make sense. Ben Stokes played 8 games in 2020, scoring 285 and grabbing just 2 wickets. In the 2021 edition, he played only one before sustaining a finger injury. On the other hand, Archer grabbed 14 wickets in 14 games during IPL 2020, but did not play in a single game in the 2020 edition due to a long dismissal of injuries.