Buttler, Archer, Livingstone, and Jaiswal are the frontrunners for the remaining three slots
As per the retention slabs set by the IPL, if a team retains four players then INR 42 crore gets deducted from the auction purse, which has been enhanced to INR 90 crore this time. Accordingly, Royals will go into the auction with INR 48 crore. Also, while Samson will get paid INR 14 crore, as per the IPL rules, INR 16 crore will be deducted for the first of the four players retained from the auction purse.
However, Archer was forced to sit out of the 2021 IPL after undergoing surgery in the summer. It is the fast bowler’s long-term fitness that is understood to be the point of debate among the Royals management which is still keen to retain Archer. As far as Buttler is concerned, Royals are optimistic the senior England player will sign the retention contract soon.
As for Stokes, who returned to action recently having taken a break during the English summer, including missing out on the T20 World Cup, Royals’ position remains unclear. The key question would be whether they would have enough money to offer him. Another overseas player Royals are considering retaining, in case Archer retention doesn’t go ahead, is Livingstone, who had a below-par season in 2021.
As per the IPL rules, each team is allowed to retain up to two overseas players. It is understood that the Royals are expected to seal the final three retentions by November 28.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo