It's official, CSK and RR are back in the IPL

While the Chennai outfit made its presence felt in all the social media platforms, Rajasthan Royals officials were busy getting the house in order.

The BCCI welcomed the franchises back into the IPL on Friday.

The stark contrast was visible with their social media activities. If Chennai Super Kings found itself trending on top of Twitter for hours on Friday, Rajasthan Royals kept it a low-key, silent affair.

Both the franchises were officially back into the Indian Premier League (IPL) domain after a two-year suspension, and both of them had different ways of celebrating it.

While the Chennai outfit made its presence felt in all the social media platforms, Rajasthan Royals officials were busy getting the house in order.

Minutes after the BCCI officially welcomed the franchises back into the IPL, Rajasthan Royals’ senior official Ranjit Barthakur told Sportstar that the franchise would start all promotional activities only after a couple of weeks.

“We are delighted to be back into the league. We have followed all the BCCI guidelines and are gearing up for an exciting season. It is sad that we had to miss out on two seasons,” Barthakur, who is the Executive Chairman of the franchise’s Professional Management Group, said.

Chennai Super Kings officials, too, admitted that they were happy to be back in the league. “We received an official release from the BCCI welcoming us back in the league. We are happy to be back,” George John, Director, CSK Cricket Limited, told this publication.

Coming back into the league after a long break, the Rajasthan franchise, however, has undergone quite a few changes as far as organisational structure is concerned. While Manoj Badale, the principal owner, will remain the face of the franchise, there will be no CEO this time around. The Professional Management group, under the leadership of Barthakur, will run the show.

Earlier, there were speculations that Sanjeev Goenka would buy stakes in Rajasthan Royals after his side — Rising Pune Supergiant’s term got over this year. Barthakur, however, refuted such claims. “There were a few talks with a few people, but we are not having any other investors on board. Manoj (Badale) will be our face,” Barthakur said.

Though the franchise wants to get back some of its old people — both cricketers and staff — it is waiting for clarity on the player retention policy. “We would definitely like to get back a few old guys, but it all depends on what the BCCI decides about the player-retention policy,” Barthakur said.

While the franchise is yet to come up with its plan of action for the future, Zubin Barucha — who has been with Royals for a long time — has been appointed as the cricket director. A cricket operations manager will also be brought in within a week.

There were talks that Australian spin great Shane Warne may be roped in as the coach, but the franchise made it clear that there is no development on that. “We have spoken to quite a few people, but nothing has developed yet,” the senior official said.

It may still be too early, but the franchise wants to have its home venue at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. It, however, would depend on whether the BCCI finally lifts the suspension on Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA).

Earlier, in an interview with Sportstar, Royals boss Badale had made it clear that they would be bringing about a change in the process. “Owners are simply shareholders, and we are keen to develop greater separation between the shareholders, and the professional management of the team — something we pioneered in the early years, but an area in which we need to develop further,” Badale had said.

Ever since the inaugural edition of the IPL, the Royals have surprised the cricketing fraternity by creating upsets with newer talents. And as it returns to the foray after two years, the Jaipur-based franchise wants to take it slow before making a noise. It’s time to cherish the comeback. ‘Halla Bol’ can wait!

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