Vastavam web: Australian skipper Steve Smith today decided to step down from Rajasthan Royals’ captaincy in the wake of severe backlash he has faced after admitting to ball tampering during the third Test against South Africa.India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will now lead the franchise in the upcoming 11th edition of Indian Premier League as Cricket Australia is mulling harsher sanctions despite a one-Test ban by the ICC.
“Steve believes given the current circumstances ‘It’s in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as Captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions.’ He would like to extend his gratitude to the BCCI officials and all the fans in India for their constant support,” Rajasthan Royals’ head of cricket Zubin Bharucha was quoted as saying in a media release.Royals’ mentor and former skipper Shane Warne was in Cape Town and it is understood that Warne must have also had a chat with the Australian captain.
About Rahane, who has been a stellar performer for Royals before their two-year ban, Bharucha said: Ajinkya Rahane has been an integral part of the Royals family for a long time now and he understands the culture and values of our team. We have absolutely no doubt that he will be a great leader of the Rajasthan Royals. “What happened in South Africa was clearly wrong, especially given that it appears to have been pre-meditated. That said, this will be a difficult time for Steve as well, given how much he cares about the game. said Manoj Badale, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals will launch their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9th followed by their first home game in Jaipur on April 11 against the Delhi Daredevils at Sawai Mansingh stadium.