The Rajasthan Royals, often referred to as RR, are a prominent franchise cricket team competing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Founded in 2008 as one of the inaugural eight IPL franchises, the team’s home ground is the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Under the inspiring leadership of Shane Warne, they clinched the first-ever IPL championship in the tournament’s debut season. Their victory defied media and fan skepticism, as they were initially dismissed as title contenders.
The Royals have demonstrated remarkable consistency throughout their IPL journey. Under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, they secured the runner-up spot in the 2013 Champions League Twenty20. In 2022, led by Sanju Samson and guided by Kumar Sangakkara, they reached the IPL finals once more.
However, they encountered a significant setback in 2015 when they were suspended for two years due to their involvement in a betting scandal from 2013. This suspension barred them from competing in the 2016 and 2017 IPL tournaments. The Royals made a triumphant return in the 2018 season.
Sanju Samson holds the record for the most runs scored by a Royals player, amassing a total of 3138 runs. Meanwhile, Shane Watson remains the leading wicket-taker for the team, claiming 67 wickets.
The Rajasthan Royals were among the original eight teams that participated in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008. Emerging Media acquired ownership of the Jaipur-based franchise with a bid of $67 million, making them the most economical team in the league.
As of 2021, the franchise is owned by Emerging Media IPL Ltd, led by Manoj Badale, holding a 65% stake. Notable minority stakeholders include Lachlan Murdoch and RedBird Capital Partners. The franchise has faced ownership controversies in the past, resulting in a brief expulsion from the league in 2010.
Despite the challenges, the team achieved a pre-tax profit of $7.5 million in 2009.
Expulsion and Return
In 2010, the BCCI’s decision to expel the Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL took everyone by surprise. Captain Shane Warne expressed suspicions of foul play, believing that the BCCI might have ulterior motives. The Rajasthan Royals filed an appeal against the expulsion, leading to a legal battle.
Following negotiations with an arbitrator, it was decided that the Royals would remain in the IPL for six weeks, including the player auction. The Bombay High Court rejected the BCCI’s appeals to remove the team from the IPL, allowing them to continue competing.
Ban in 2015
In 2015, the franchise faced a two-year ban as a result of the Lodha Committee inquiry. Controversial bids and ownership disputes resulted in the team being banned for two years by the BCCI. Owner Raj Kundra was banned for life, and the team’s future hung in the balance.
2008 IPL Season: A Fairytale Beginning
In the inaugural IPL season, the Royals faced skepticism, with many regarding them as the weakest team. Their early performances seemed to confirm these doubts as they lost their first match against the Delhi Daredevils in a 9-wicket defeat. It appeared that a challenging season lay ahead.
However, they defied the odds with an inspiring victory in their first home game at Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Shane Watson’s unbeaten 76 off 49 balls led them to a six-wicket win against the Kings XI Punjab. This success was followed by a crucial 3-wicket win over the formidable Deccan Chargers, boosting their morale significantly. Yusuf Pathan’s remarkable all-round performance earned him the Man of the Match award.
A resounding 45-run win against the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Swapnil Asnodkar claiming the Man of the Match award, demonstrated their newfound strength. The Royals continued their remarkable run, securing a spot in the semi-finals after a 65-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Their journey culminated in a thrilling final against Chennai Super Kings, which they won by 3 wickets. Shane Watson’s all-round brilliance earned him the Man of the Tournament award, while Shane Warne’s leadership received widespread acclaim.
Each player and representative received a medal, and the team was awarded the DLF Indian Premier League trophy along with a $1.2 million prize. Several Royals players received individual awards, emphasizing their outstanding performances.
2009 IPL Season: Defending Champions
The Royals entered the 2009 season as defending champions. However, challenges loomed as Sohail Tanvir and Shane Watson were unavailable. The team relied on players like Graeme Smith, Shaun Tait, and Shane Warne.
Unfortunately, the season started on a disappointing note with a 75-run loss to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, during which they recorded the second-lowest total (58 all out) in IPL history. Despite occasional victories against Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers, the Royals finished 6th out of 8 teams, failing to reach the semi-finals.
British Asian Cup: A Glimpse of Glory
In 2009, the Royals participated in the British Asian Cup, facing Middlesex Crusaders. This charity match marked the first annual series between the Twenty20 champions of both countries. Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious, defeating Middlesex by 46 runs in a thrilling contest.
2010 IPL Season: Inconsistent Performances
Returning to India after an average season in South Africa, the Royals seemed to have a stronger squad. However, their campaign started with a narrow defeat to the Mumbai Indians, despite Yusuf Pathan’s record-breaking century. Inconsistent performances continued, and the team finished 7th out of 8 teams.
Despite ups and downs, the Rajasthan Royals have demonstrated their resilience and commitment throughout their IPL journey, earning the respect of fans and opponents alike.
2011 IPL Season: A Year of Challenges
The 2011 IPL season brought its share of challenges for the Rajasthan Royals. The team, along with Kings XI Punjab, faced temporary ejection from the league due to unreported ownership changes. However, they were reinstated following legal involvement from the High Court. This period saw various ownership transitions due to BCCI requirements.
In the face of adversity, the Royals decided to retain the Australian duo of Shane Warne and Shane Watson for the next three IPL seasons. Despite uncertainties surrounding Warne’s future, he embraced the role of being the team’s inspirational force both on and off the field for his final season with the Rajasthan Royals.
In the auction, the team had limited funds due to penalties imposed by the BCCI in the previous season. Still, they managed to acquire renowned T20 players, including Shaun Tait and Johan Botha. They secured the services of New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, and England’s Paul Collingwood. The team also welcomed promising domestic players following their Ranji Trophy victory.
The season began on a high note with victories against the Deccan Chargers and the Delhi Daredevils. Siddharth Trivedi’s impressive performance earned him the Man of the Match award. Shane Warne’s exceptional bowling also played a crucial role in securing victories.
Despite their strong start, back-to-back defeats against the Kolkata Knight Riders tested the team’s resolve. The rain-affected match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore added to their challenges. A defeat to Kings XI Punjab further complicated their journey. However, they bounced back with three consecutive home wins against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Mumbai Indians, and Pune Warriors India.
Inconsistency marred their progress as they faced defeats against the Chennai Super Kings and the Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Their round-robin matches concluded with a win against the Mumbai Indians, giving Shane Warne a memorable farewell. Despite their efforts, the Royals finished 6th out of 10 teams in the tournament.
2012 IPL Season: A Season of Struggles
The following year, the Royals faced a tough battle in the 2012 IPL season. They finished 7th in the points table, winning only seven out of sixteen matches.
The Rajasthan Royals continued to be a team known for their resilience and ability to surprise. Their journey in the IPL remained unpredictable, making them a compelling team to watch year after year.
2013 IPL Season: A Spot-Fixing Scandal
In the 2013 IPL season, the Rajasthan Royals showcased their cricketing prowess by finishing third in the group stage. This achievement secured them a spot in the 2013 Champions League Twenty20. They went on to face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator, securing a crucial victory. However, their journey came to an end when they faced the mighty Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier, resulting in their exit from the tournament. Shane Watson’s exceptional performance earned him the prestigious title of Man of the Tournament.
Unfortunately, the 2013 season was marred by a significant scandal. On May 16, 2013, three Rajasthan Royals players—Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila—along with eleven bookies were arrested in Mumbai by the Delhi Police. They were charged with spot-fixing in several matches. The fixing allegations were related to their games against Pune Warriors, Kings XI Punjab, and Mumbai Indians. In response to these grave allegations, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the three players.
2014 IPL Season: Retaining Key Players
Rajasthan Royals entered the 2014 IPL season with determination. They retained five key players: Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, James Faulkner, and Stuart Binny. The season witnessed an extraordinary performance from James Faulkner, who scored a remarkable 65 runs off the last 17 balls at an astonishing strike rate of 382.35, leading the Royals to victory. Shane Watson took charge as the team’s leader, with Rahul Dravid providing invaluable mentorship.
2015 IPL Season: Playoffs and Eliminator Exit
In the 2015 IPL season, the Rajasthan Royals secured a playoff spot by finishing fourth in the league stage. However, their journey took an unfortunate turn as they faced defeat at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator. This loss led to their exit from the tournament.
2018 IPL Season: Return and Setbacks
The year 2018 marked the return of the Rajasthan Royals to the IPL after a two-year suspension. Before the season’s auction, the Royals retained Steve Smith, announcing him as the captain. However, following the ball-tampering controversy in March 2018, Smith stepped down as captain, with Ajinkya Rahane taking the helm. Smith was banned from participating in the 2018 IPL season, and Heinrich Klaasen was named as his replacement.
The season saw Jos Buttler’s phenomenal performance when he scored the fastest-ever 50 for the Rajasthan Royals, taking just 18 balls. This remarkable achievement also made it the fifth-fastest 50 in IPL history. Jos Buttler equaled Virender Sehwag’s record for the most consecutive fifties in the IPL, achieving five consecutive half-centuries.
While the Rajasthan Royals managed to secure fourth place in the regular season with 14 points, their playoff journey ended abruptly. They faced Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator and lost by 25 runs at Eden Gardens.
The Rajasthan Royals’ journey in the IPL has been marked by remarkable victories and significant setbacks. Despite the challenges they’ve faced, they continue to be a team that fans eagerly follow, supporting them in every season of the IPL.
2019 IPL Season: Steve Smith’s Comeback
Ahead of the 2019 IPL Auction, the Rajasthan Royals made significant changes to their squad. They retained 16 players and released 9, preparing for the upcoming season. One of the most notable developments was the appointment of Paddy Upton as the team’s coach.
A momentous return took place during the 2019 season when Steve Smith came back to the IPL after a ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) due to his involvement in the Australian ball-tampering controversy. Ajinkya Rahane began the season as the captain, but on April 20, 2019, Steve Smith replaced him as the leader of the Rajasthan Royals after a series of disappointing results.
2020 IPL Season: A Season of Challenges
In preparation for the 2020 IPL Auction, the Royals retained 11 players while releasing 11. They also engaged in player trades with other franchises, which saw players like Ajinkya Rahane, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Dhawal Kulkarni move to different teams. Among their new acquisitions were Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, and Ankit Rajpoot, obtained through trades with Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab.
A significant change in leadership occurred when Andrew McDonald was appointed as the head coach, succeeding Paddy Upton. Steve Smith continued as the team’s captain. The season began well, with the Royals winning their first two matches. However, they faced a challenging period with four consecutive losses, ultimately finishing at the bottom of the points table after winning six out of fourteen matches.
An individual highlight amidst the team’s challenges was Jofra Archer, who was recognized as the most valuable player of the season despite Rajasthan ending at the bottom of the table.
2021 IPL Season: Captaincy Transition
In preparation for the 2021 IPL season, Rajasthan made significant changes to their squad. On January 20, 2021, the team released eight players, including their former captain Steve Smith. On the same day, they announced that Sanju Samson would be taking over as the captain for the 2021 season, marking a transition in leadership.
2022 IPL Season: A Strong Run to the Final
Heading into the 2022 IPL season, the Royals made a strategic decision. They retained their captain, Sanju Samson, along with key players Jos Buttler and young talent Yashasvi Jaiswal, while parting ways with other members of the 2021 squad.
The 2022 season saw a strong performance from the Royals during the league stage, where they finished second in the points table. However, they faced challenges in the playoffs, losing twice to the Gujarat Titans within the span of six days. They first encountered defeat in Qualifier 1 and then in the final, ultimately finishing as runners-up.
Individual excellence shone through in the team’s performance. Jos Buttler secured the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, along with the Orange Cap for accumulating an impressive tally of 864 runs in 17 innings. Yuzvendra Chahal, a key bowler, clinched the Purple Cap for taking the most wickets in the season.
The Rajasthan Royals’ journey in these four IPL seasons is a testament to their resilience, adaptability, and ability to navigate the dynamic landscape of the Indian Premier League. With changes in leadership and squad composition, they continue to be a team to watch in future IPL seasons.
Rajasthan Royals Season Standing
|Year||League standing||Final standing|
|2008||1st out of 8||Champions|
|2009||6th out of 8||League stage|
|2010||7th out of 8||League stage|
|2011||6th out of 10||League stage|
|2012||7th out of 9||League stage|
|2013||3rd out of 9||Playoffs|
|2014||5th out of 8||League stage|
|2015||4th out of 8||Playoffs|
|2018||4th out of 8||Playoffs|
|2019||7th out of 8||League stage|
|2020||8th out of 8||League stage|
|2021||7th out of 8||League stage|
|2022||2nd out of 10||Runners-up|
|2023||5th out of 10||League stage|
IPL Season Summary
|Years||Matches||Wins||Losses||No Result||Success Rate|
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur is the iconic home venue for the Rajasthan Royals. Built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, it boasts a seating capacity of 30,000 and is one of India’s premier cricket stadiums. In 2018, the stadium once again became the host for Royals’ home matches after their two-year suspension.
Despite various controversies and setbacks, the Rajasthan Royals continue to be a resilient and competitive force in the IPL, showcasing their commitment to the sport and their fans.
|223/5||CHENNAI SUPER KINGS||CHENNAI|
|58||ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE||CAPE TOWN|
|59||ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE||JAIPUR|
|81||KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS||EDEN|
|85||KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS||SHARJAH|
Rajasthan Royals Squad
Murugan Ashwin, Ravichandran Ashwin, KM Asif, Abdul Basith, Trent Boult, Jos Buttler, KC Cariappa, Yuzvendra Chahal, Donovan Ferreira, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Obed McCoy, Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag, Akash Vasisht, Kunal Singh Rathore, Joe Root, Navdeep Saini, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Sen, Sandeep Sharma, Akash Vashisht, Kuldip Yadav, Adam Zampa