Rajasthan Royals (often abbreviated as RR) are a franchise cricket team based in Jaipur, Rajasthan, that plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Founded in 2008 as one of the initial eight IPL franchises, the team is based at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The Royals are known to unearth obscure, high potential talent, as well as for their involvement in a number of controversies and scandals.
The team won the inaugural edition of the IPL under the captaincy of Shane Warne, despite being written off as a title contender by the media and fans. The Royals were also the runners-up of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy.
On 14 July 2015, the verdict reached by a panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India suspended Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for two years over a 2013 betting scandal, meaning they could not participate in both the 2016 and 2017 IPL tournaments. They returned to the competition for the 2018 season.
The team’s record run-scorer is Ajinkya Rahane with 3098 runs, while the leading wicket-taker is Shane Watson, with 67.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the establishment of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in September 2007, a Twenty20 competition to be started in 2008.The Rajasthan Royals were one of the original eight teams in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008. Emerging Media gained ownership of the Jaipur-based franchise team with a bid of $67 million, making it the least expensive team in the league.
As of 2021, the franchise is owned by Manoj Badale-led Emerging Media IPL Ltd which holds a 65% stake. Key minority stakeholders include Lachlan Murdoch and RedBird Capital Partners.There have been past controversies regarding the ownership of the franchise, leading to a brief expulsion of the team from the league in 2010. The franchise made a pre-tax profit of $7.5 million in 2009
Expulsion from the IPL and return
In 2010, the BCCI decided to expel Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL. The expulsion baffled captain Shane Warne who stated that he suspected that there might be some foul play and that the BCCI might possess some ulterior motives. The Rajasthan Royals filed an appeal against the decision and the two parties went to the Mumbai High Court to decide.The Mumbai High Court adjourned that case until 29 October 2010, but it was revised to 15 November because they didn’t want it to coincide with Diwali celebrations from 1 to 14 November.
Later, it was announced by the Royals that they told the Bombay High Court that they would be negotiating with an arbitrator to see if they could reconcile with the IPL.The arbitrator announced that while the investigation was ongoing, the Royals would remain a part of the IPL for six weeks and the BCCI would not be allowed to change rules which might go against the Royals. The six-week period included the player auction in which Rajasthan Royals participated. After this, the Bombay High Court rejected the appeals of the BCCI against keeping the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL for six weeks while the case was sorted out. It was estimated that because of the losses in court cases and damage in reputation, the BCCI decided not to pursue further legal action against the Rajasthan Royals or Kings XI Punjab – the teams were allowed to remain in the IPL.
Ban in 2015
In 2015, the team was banned for two years following the Lodha Committee inquiry.
Rajasthan Royals became the source of controversy when inappropriate and fictitious bids were made, violating BCCI norms. Ranjit Barthakur and Fraser Castellino were the only two shareholders of the team, which was completely unknown to the BCCI at the time. An out-of-court settlement between the two ensued. In 2015, Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years by the BCCI, with its owner Raj Kundra banned for life
2021 IPL season
On 20 January 2021, ahead of the auction for the 2021 Indian Premier League, Rajasthan released eight players, including their captain Steve Smith. On the same day, they also announced that Sanju Samson would be the captain for the 2021 season.
2022 IPL season
On 30 November 2021, ahead of the auction for the 2022 Indian Premier League, Rajasthan retained their captain Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal, releasing every other player who from 2021.
After doing well in the league stage and finishing second in the points table, the team lost twice to Gujarat Titans within the space of six days, first in Qualifier 1 and then in the final to finish as runners up. Jos Buttler earned the MVP award, as well as the Orange Cap with a tally of 864 runs in 17 innings, while Yuzvendra Chahal won the Purple Cap for taking the most wickets in the season.
The home venue of the Royals is the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The stadium was built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. It is situated at one corner of the Rambagh Circle. The stadium seats 30,000 and is one of the best in India, after the 2006 renovation. The Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad has also hosted Rajasthan Royals home matches.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur once again started to host the Royals home games from the 2018 IPL season onwards after their return from a two-year suspension which also saw the stadium being banned from hosting matches for four years.