Did you really think? Rajasthan Royals hit back at reports suggesting R Ashwin’s departure before IPL 2023 auction

Former Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Rajasthan Royals quashed rumours about parting ways with veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin by taking a sly dig at his critics on retention day. Clearing the air about Ashwin’s IPL future, the 2008 winners retained the star player for the forthcoming season of the cash-rich league. Ashwin was earlier in speculation about being released by the Sanju Samson-led side prior to the upcoming mini-auction for the 2023 season.

On Tuesday, the Rajasthan-based franchise revealed its retention list ahead of the mini-auction which is scheduled to take place next month in Kochi. After extending Ashwin’s stay at Rajasthan, the official handle of the Men In Pink hit back at the rumours linking Ashwin with a move away from the Royals. “Did you really think?! #iplretentions,” the Twitter handle of the Rajasthan Royals kept things short while addressing reports about Ashwin’s departure from the franchise. RR’s special tweet for Ashwin soon became the talk of the town on social media. The post has garnered over 18k likes on the microblogging site.

Superstar Ashwin joined Samson’s Rajasthan Royals for INR 5 crore at the IPL mega auction last year. While Rajasthan Royals retained the likes of Ashwin, Samson, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal, the 2008 champions parted ways with some household names in world cricket. The Royals have released Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Karun Nair, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Rassie van der Dussen ahead of the IPL 2023 auction. The Samson-led side has over INR 13 crore left in their purse for the IPL 2023 auction. Rajasthan Royals can sign four overseas players at the mini-auction.

Rajasthan Royals’ squad before auction: Sanju Samson (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa.