Ben Stokes has been retained by Rajasthan Royals for next year’s Indian Premier League alongside England team-mates Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer.

The World Cup-winning trio, each of whom played a key role in the dramatic final at Lord’s in July, have had their contracts renewed by the franchise for a third season, ahead of the next player draft on December 19.

Cumbrian all-rounder Stokes, who grew up in Cockermouth, first played in the IPL for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 before he first joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018. Stokes, Buttler and Archer will play for the Royals, captained by Australia’s Steve Smith.

Smith, whose relentless run-scoring helped Australia retain the Ashes over the summer, has been been confirmed as skipper, having taken over from Ajinkya Rahane.

Archer, 24, said: “I have loved my time in the IPL, so it is a great feeling to know I’ll be back next year, playing for the Royals.

“After the summer we’ve had as an England team, it will be great to continue playing with the likes of Stokesy and Jos, and I hope the fans back home in England will get behind us and support the Royals.

"It is going to be a huge IPL for us, a great chance to play T20 cricket of the highest level and test ourselves against the best in the world ahead of the T20 World Cup."

Archer memorably floored Smith in this year’s Lord’s Test, concussing the batsmen and forcing him to miss the next match, and the 30-year-old is looking forward to sharing a dressing room with his Ashes rivals again.

“After a summer of some of the toughest cricket I can remember against the England boys in the World Cup and the Ashes, I’m looking forward to having three of them on my team this time around,” Smith said.

“Everyone knows that Ben, Jos and Jofra are three of the finest cricketers in the world.”

Another Cumbrian, Liam Livingstone, who played for the Royals last year, has not been retained and said he has opted to focus on his red-ball cricket with Lancashire.