IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane to replace Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain
SPORTS | March 26, 2018
In the latest development to the "Sandpaper Gate" incident, Steve Smith has stepped down as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals franchise for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, which begins on April 7.
The news was confirmed by Zubin Barucha, who is the head of Cricket Operations for the Rajasthan Royals. Barucha made the announcement to the press.
"The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore we have been in regular contact with Steve," said Barucha.
"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.," he continued.
Speaking about Rahane, Barucha said that he was the obvious choice to replace Smith.
"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," he said,
This news has come in a day after he stepped down as the captain of the Australian side for the remainder of the third Test, which they eventually lost by a huge margin of 322 runs. Tim Paine was named as the captain for the fourth day.
It is confirmed that Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side instead of Smith.
As of now, Smith will take part in the IPL, however, with the ongoing developments, there is a possibility that he might not play this year.
Rahane does have a bit of captaincy experience in his career. He captained India in one Test, three ODIs, and three T20Is. He also captained the Rising Pune Supergiant in one match last season.
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