Kumar Sangakkara, the director of cricket operations at Rajasthan Royals, has made it clear that the franchise never really had any doubts about retaining Sanju Samson as the first choice player ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction because they see him as the leader of the set-up for a long time and not just for one or two seasons.
Sanju Samson captained Rajasthan Royals for the first time last season and although the team couldn’t qualify for the playoffs, it was clear on a few occasions that Samson could be a tactical captain and could create something out of nothing. The kind of field placements he used with the young right-arm fast bowler Kartik Tyagi to successfully defend less than a run a ball in the last over against Kings XI Punjab was extraordinary.
Not just with his leadership, Samson looked much more impressive with his batting performances as well after taking over the captaincy. He might not have played whirlwind cameos he had been playing in the past, but there were some solid knocks off his bat where he took the onus upon himself to bail the team out of trouble.
Rajasthan Royals owners and the management staff seem to have seen enough in Samson to have come to the decision that he has got it in him to be a responsible leader over a long period of time and lead the team from the front with his own performances as well.
The decision to retain Sanju Samson was unanimous
Kumar Sangakkara revealed that there were discussions within the Rajasthan Royals set up and with the franchise partners who are based in India as well as in the USA and there was a unanimous decision that Sanju Samson should be the first retention.
“With the help of all our partners in India and in the US we finally decided, of course, Sanju Samson, in terms of being our number one,” Sangakkara said in a video shared by the social media channels of Rajasthan Royals.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) December 2, 2021Advertisement
Apart from Samson, the England vice-captain Jos Buttler and the uncapped Indian left-hander Yashasvi Jaiswal are the second and the third retention of Rajasthan Royals respectively.