Disappointing to lose out on a player like Jofra Archer: RR’s Manoj Badale

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Manoj Badale, the lead owner of Rajasthan Royals (RR), said it was disappointing for them to be unable to buy back England pacer Jofra Archer in the IPL Mega Auction.

Archer hasn’t played a competitive cricket match in the last ten months due to elbow injury and subsequent surgeries. But that didn’t stop him from putting his name in the IPL Mega Auction. After an intense bidding war, Mumbai Indians acquired his services for Rs 8 crore with a long-term thinking.

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose out on a player like Jofra. He’s been an integral part of our team for the past few years and grew in stature with us. But if we had gone on to retain him at Rs 9 crore, we wouldn’t have been able to build the squad we have now. However, he was always on our list even though we knew he was injured for this year. We pushed as hard as we could and went all the way for him, but unfortunately lost out to a team with a larger purse. We wish Jofra the very best in his recovery and for the future,” said Badale.

Rajasthan, after winning the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, had very dismal outings in the last two seasons of the tournament. In the IPL Mega Auction spreading over two days, Badale said the focus was on making a strong core of Indian players.

“Our priority this year was to build a strong Indian core, which we have done with the likes of Ashwin, Chahal, Karun, Saini, Devdutt, Prasidh along with Sanju and Yashasvi already retained. Our focus was always on having a world-class XI, which is visible in the way we have gone about our business as we tried to utilize the majority of our funds on the starting XI. We’ve tried our best to also go for familiar faces, who we are excited to have at the Royals again. In terms of the international players, we’ve secured some amazing buys and I’m looking forward to seeing them in pink.”

Badale was delighted in getting the services of India speedster Navdeep Saini. “In terms of having a solid base, we are absolutely happy with the purchase of Navdeep Saini. He’s an experienced player and has been regularly plying his trade with the Indian team as well, so he compliments the other experienced bowlers.”

By the end of the auction, Rajasthan made quick overseas purchases in James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen and Daryl Mitchell. “I think it was a key phase for us, towards the end, to secure their signings. Jimmy and Nathan are particularly experienced when it comes to the IPL, and we feel they will add a lot of value to our side. Rassie and Daryl, as we’ve seen, can be extremely effective and are really exciting cricketers. So we’re really happy to have them all in our team,” stated Badale.

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