Team: Rajasthan Royals
City: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Ground: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
IPL Debut: 2008
Number of IPL Titles: 1
Who Are the Rajasthan Royals?
The Rajasthan Royals are best known for being the winners of the inaugural edition of the IPL. Over the years they have developed a reputation for being able to find unknown, high-potential players, and on a uglier note, a team that has been involved in several controversies.
As previously alluded to the Royals are one of the original 8 franchises that played in the inaugural edition of the IPL. The franchise is based in Jaipur, the largest city in the state of Rajasthan, and play their home matches at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, which has a capacity of 30,000.
The franchise is owned by Manoj Badale (of Emerging Media IPL Ltd) who holds a 65% stake, with other key minority stakeholders including Lachlan Murdoch (13% stake) and RedBird Capital Partners (15% stake). On the field the franchise is currently led by Sanju Samson as captain and the team is coached by Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakarra.
Apart from Rajasthan’s win in the inaugural tournament, the franchise may be best known for their scandals. The biggest being their suspension from the IPL in 2016 and 2017 after a 2013 betting scandal, in which 3 of their players were charged with match-fixing.
However, although they are the smallest IPL franchise (as determined by social media followers), through their canny signings, unearthing of young talent and strong leaders, like the late, great Shane Warne, they are a franchise which have always been able to punch above their weight.
The IPL History of Rajasthan Royals
The best year for the Rajasthan Royals came in the first year of the tournament where they won the inaugural IPL tournament. It was fairy-tale story before the tournament no one gave them a chance and they had already written the team off. However, under the captaincy, coaching, and leadership of the late, great Shane Warne he galvanised the time and took them to the trophy. There were special performances throughout the tournament from Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, and Yusuf Pathan.
Following their early success, they have been unable to replicate it and add to the trophy cabinet. They have however, managed to make it the playoff stages on 3 more occasions (2013, 2015, and 2018).
Their success in 2013 meant they qualified for the now defunct Champion League T20. They made it to the final of the tournament, but unfortunately, were beaten in the final by IPL rivals the Mumbai Indians by 33 runs.
Who Holds the Rajasthan Royals Records?
Two of the stalwart Indian players have been the anchors of the Rajasthan Royals batting line up for many years. In the past Ajinkya Rahane (2011-19), who holds the franchise record for most runs scored with 2,810 from 93 innings, and more recently, but closely behind Rahane is current Royals captain Sanju Samson with 2,476 runs since 2013 from 91 innings.
Current Rajasthan Royals overseas player Jos Butler, who has now been with the franchise since 2018 is also climbing the run scoring charts, having scored 1,576 runs in 42 innings. But it was his special innings of 121 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2021 that is the franchises record for most runs scored in an innings.
However, there is another overseas star that dominates both the batting and bowling records for Rajasthan. Australian all-rounder Shane Watson who played for the franchise between 2008 and 2015, has scored the third most runs (2,372) and, incredibly, taken the second most wickets (61).
Topping the bowling charts for most wickets taken for the franchise is the medium pace of local Indian Siddharth Trivedi with 65 wickets. He has been ably supported by a plethora of overseas bowlers like Watson, the late, great Shane Warne, James Faulkner, and Jofra Archer, who round out the top 5 wicket takers.