Alt. Sport Meets: Ben Stokes

Inside Story: A Season with Rajasthan Royals, a three-part documentary series produced by Red Bull Media House, takes you behind-the-scenes with the franchise through their rollercoaster 2019 IPL season. Watch it now on Red Bull TV:

The documentary series available worldwide on Red Bull TV unravels the secrets of the Royals family including interviews and never-before-seen footage from the Royals camp. Featuring stars like skipper Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Varun Aaron and Riyan Parag, the documentary brings fans closer than ever before to the highs and lows of a season.

Rajasthan Royals are one of the leading cricket teams in India. They won the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League and have been represented by celebrated players like Rahul Dravid, Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, and others.

For the first time, Rajasthan Royals opened the doors to their stadium, training academies, boardrooms, tech hubs, and more, to give Red Bull Media House an exclusive chance to film a documentary detailing their journey through the 2019 season. That opportunity produced a unique documentary series that looks into how to run a cricket franchise, but in truth, it is much more than that. ‘Inside Story: A Season with Rajasthan Royals’ is a three-part documentary series detailing the various stories that unravel during an IPL season. The stories of players, management, supporters and the team overall – the entire Royals family is involved.

The series follows the team’s journey behind-the-scenes, with extraordinary access giving a rare look at the inside workings of a leading cricket franchise. We experience everything they faced including the tough first few matches of the 2019 season – when they encountered some poor results brought on by what the fans called “bad luck”. We understand the dynamics of a cricketing franchise and what makes them tick, the innovative technology and coaching methods they adopt to try and get the upper hand over their opponents. We see their passion for unearthing new talent through associations with age-level tournaments like Red Bull Campus Cricket and RR’s own talent-building programs like Royals Colts and Sparks. But most importantly we see how even in challenging times, all involved with the Rajasthan Royals work together and stick together, to give the best chance possible for success.

Speaking on the release of this special documentary series, Rajasthan Royals all-rounder and Red Bull Athlete Riyan Parag said, “In the last IPL season, I admire how Smudge (Smith) backed all the bowlers, especially young players like me. He is a great leader and I enjoyed playing under him. It also feels amazing that Red Bull was continuously following me during the IPL and look forward to continuous support from them in future too.”

Talking about his comeback in IPL last season, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith said, “Last Season, it was great to be back with the Rajasthan Royals. I was with them in back in 2014 and 2015, I admire the professionalism of the team owners and the franchise. The franchise has a family like atmosphere within the dressing room. We are a bit disappointed that we could not make the playoffs last season, however that is part and parcel of the game. The team has a great mix of youth and experience and we believe that we have all the bases covered. We have big hopes for the upcoming season.”

Featuring interviews with Rajasthan Royals players like Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ish Sodhi, Varun Aaron, Riyan Parag and Jaydev Unadkat, former players like Ajinkya Rahane,, Dhawal Kulkarni, the coaching staff  including former Head Coach Paddy Upton, current batting coach Amol Muzumdar, spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule, and Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha, and former cricketers Anjum Chopra, Suhail Chandhok and Shane Warne, the series follows the franchise throughout the 2019 season, and ebbs and flows with the team through their trials and celebrations.


Alt. Sport Speaks with Ben Stokes


The atmosphere created by the Indian fans at the IPL is one of the best in World Cricket – how strange will it be to play for Rajasthan Royals in front of an empty stadium?

It will be strange experience as the atmosphere is part of the spectacle of the IPL. A few of us have got used to no crowds in England this summer, so it won’t be too much of a shock, but IPL with no crowd is going to be a big difference to this massively supported competition.


How will conditions differ in the UAE to playing in India?

I think they are quite similar – I’ve only ever played test matches in the UAE. However, when I watched the last time the IPL was held in the UAE there were still big scores being made – which everybody wants to see.


Do you think Rajasthan have a strong chance of winning the IPL this season

Yes of course, We’ve made some great signings from last year, and a lot of them have been the exciting young talent coming through the Indian ranks. Having their talent along with the experience guys in the side is very exciting.


Tom Curran joins yourself, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer as RR’s English contingent– how important is it that English players play in the IPL

It’s fantastic that so many English players are now playing in the IPL through the franchises. The IPL is such a massive opportunity for people to learn and expand their game in the T20 format. It’s where the best players in the world get the chance to come together and people get to pick their brains about the format.


With the World T20 coming up next year, how much does this year’s IPL give you a chance to suss out how best to take on potential opponents for the tournament?

I think the IPL is more than just working out opponents. It’s about learning how the best operate and trying to expand your game.

Obviously when you play against guys that have been in the same side as you; you can take that information to benefit the team against those certain individuals – but whilst you’re in the same team it’s all about winning.


Unseen, unfiltered, unmissable. A season, a story, a family. Watch ‘Inside Story: A Season with Rajasthan Royals’, produced by Red Bull Media House, available on Red Bull TV. Access the free Red Bull TV app on all devices! Get the app here



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