Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have both been retained by Rajasthan Royals for the 2019 IPL season.
The England pair were both picked up by the franchise prior to last year’s tournament, with Stokes purchased for £1.4m and Buttler going for £485,000.
Despite being named as the tournament’s most valuable player in 2017 after some excellent performances for Rising Pune Supergiants, Stokes struggled for form during his maiden season for Rajasthan, averaging 16.33 with the bat and taking just eight wickets from his 13 matches.
Buttler fared far better, scoring five half-centuries and averaging 54.80 as he led the run-scoring charts for his side. The England batsman has carried on that form through the year, solidifying his place in the Test side.
Former Australia captain Steve Smith has also been retained by the franchise, with Jofra Archer and Ish Sodhi the other overseas players remaining with the Royals.
“I couldn’t wish for a better franchise to be a part of – it felt like a family last season and I can’t wait to get back out amongst the team,” said Buttler.
“It is great to play with Stokes and I really hope the fans back home in England will get behind us as players and choose the Royals as their team to support.”
Discussing the retained players, Zubin Harucha, head of cricket for the Royals, said, “The results in the previous season have been impressive and that is why we have decided not to disturb the balance of the squad. We cannot wait for the start of the 2019 season and preparation has already begun.”