Rajasthan Royals on Sunday parted ways with head coach Andrew McDonald ahead of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.

The team had already parted ways with skipper for 2020 season Steve Smith, who is to be replaced by Sanju Samson for the next season. Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara had been appointed as the Director of Cricketer and will now lead the backroom staff.

“Royals and its Head Coach Andrew McDonald have mutually decided to move in different directions with regards to the leadership structure,” the franchise announced on Sunday.

According to an ESPNcricinfo report, McDonald played very little part in the team’s recent acquisitions at the 2021 IPL auction and the franchise had been trying to negotiate a new role with the Australian, who was busy with national team duties in New Zealand.

“Everyone at Rajasthan Royals would like to thank Andrew for his efforts towards the IPL season 13. He coached the team during an incredibly challenging Covid restricted period and we would like to wish him all the very best for his future endeavours with the Australian men’s cricket team and the Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred (England’s new event),” said Jake Lush McCrum, COO of Royals.

Players bought by RR at auction

Christopher Morris All-Rounder Rs 162500000
Shivam Dube All-Rounder Rs 44000000
Chetan Sakariya Bowler Rs 12000000
Mustafizur Rahman Bowler Rs 10000000
Liam Livingstone All-Rounder Rs 7500000
K.C Cariappa Bowler Rs 2000000
Akash Singh Bowler Rs 2000000
Kuldip Yadav Bowler Rs 2000000

Royals announced their new leadership structure with former Warwickshire player Trevor Penney joining their coaching ranks as the Lead Assistant Coach for the upcoming season.

“Penney will work closely with the Royals’ Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, captain Sanju Samson and the leadership team comprising the coaching staff — spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahatule, fast bowling coach Rob Cassell, and fielding coach Dishant Yagnik — alongside international senior players like Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler”, the team said in a statement adding that Zubin Bharucha will be a part of this team in the role of Strategy, Development and Performance Director.

Without saying as much, the franchise confirmed that Sangakkara will be the head coach for all intents and purposes as he will call the shots as “decision-maker in the structure.”

As part of the restructuring, Amol Muzumdar’s role transitions to an out-of-season high-performance batting coach to support the squad and RR academies.

Penney, hailing from Zimbabwe, played seventeen years for England’s Warwickshire County Cricket Club. He has international coaching experience working with the likes of India, Sri Lanka, England as well as associate nations such as the Netherlands and the USA. Currently employed by the West Indies working with their white ball teams, Penney is also a regular feature on the T20 franchise circuit with past experiences in the IPL and more recently in the Caribbean Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League and the GT20 Canadian League.

“It’s fantastic to have Trevor Penney on board here at Rajasthan Royals. He’s very experienced and understands the game very well which I am sure will help contribute to the players’ and squad’s overall growth. I’m confident Trevor’s appointment is going to set us on the right pathway and it will be wonderful to have him work with our squad” said Sangakkara.

McCrum added: “It’s great to bring in someone with a coaching CV like that of Trevor. He’s one of the most well travelled coaches in the modern game and has had considerable success across the globe. Kumar and Trevor have a really strong relationship after sharing a successful period together with the Sri Lankan national team. We are hopeful of an exciting season ahead under the able leadership of Kumar alongside a strategy group including Sanju, Zubin and Trevor.”

Royals had finished 2020 at the bottom of the table, despite being in contention for playoffs till the final stages of the group phase. The team has won a solitary title, which came in the inaugural edition.