Ajinkya Rahane has replaced Steven Smith as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals side for the Indian Premier League 2018, in the wake of Subsequent to Australian captain’s confession to premeditated ball-tampering in the third Test played between Australia and South Africa in Newlands.
Zubin Bharuchia, Royals’ head of cricket, confirmed the news via a media release on Monday (March 26).
Smith admitted to his role in the episode after the third day’s play in Newlands and as a result, he stood down as the skipper for the rest of the Test and was then handed out a one Test ban by the ICC. But the repercussions as expected seem to be never ending, with Smith stepping down from his position as the captain of Royals’ franchise.
“The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricketing world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore we have been in regular contact with Steve,” Bharuchia said.
Bharuchia also stated that it was Smith’s decision to step down from the position “in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals” and ensure that “the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions.”
Royals’ head of cricket also pointed out that they had a readily available captaincy choice in Rahane, who has been with the franchise for a long period. The veteran cricketer was picked up by the Royals set-up in January 2011 under the uncapped basket. Since then he has been a prolific run-getter for the franchise.