England’s prolific batter, Joe Root, has decided to opt out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, leaving fans and the Rajasthan Royals franchise in awe. Root, who made his IPL debut in the 2023 season, has cited the need for rest after an intense cricketing schedule.

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Root’s Impact in IPL 2023

Root’s association with the Royals was short-lived but impactful. Despite playing only three matches and getting a chance to bat in just one, Root’s influence on the team and the budding talents within it was noteworthy. The franchise acknowledged his contribution in a statement, highlighting the depth and experience he brought to the squad.

The Decision-Making Process

The decision to skip IPL 2024 was communicated during the retention discussions, according to Kumar Sangakkara, the Royals’ Director of Cricket. Root’s relentless schedule, spanning from New Zealand to the Ashes, and culminating in the IPL, left the 32-year-old cricketer in need of a well-deserved break, as stated by Rob Key, England’s managing director of men’s cricket.

Root’s Learning Curve in T20

Despite the limited opportunities in IPL 2023, Root embraced the T20 format, aiming to revive his T20 career. He approached his time in India as a learning experience, describing himself as a “sponge,” absorbing diverse information. His camaraderie with youngsters like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Riyan Parag, as well as bonding with England teammates Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal, created memorable highlights for the Royals.

Franchise Respects Root’s Decision

The Royals, in an official statement, expressed respect for Root’s decision and conveyed their best wishes for his future endeavours. Kumar Sangakkara emphasized Root’s positive impact on the franchise and the players, acknowledging the energy he brought to the group.

IPL 2024: A Stokes and Root Void

Root now joins Ben Stokes in pulling out of IPL 2024, leaving a void in the Royals’ overseas contingent. The franchise, already active in the trade window, has secured the services of India fast bowler Avesh Khan, trading Devdutt Padikkal to Lucknow Super Giants.

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