Rajasthan Royals sign Heinrich Klaasen as Steve Smith replacement
SPORTS | April 2, 2018:
The Rajasthan Royals have confirmed the signing of the South African batsman Heinrich Klaasen as the replacement for Steve Smith. The wicket-keeper batsman was picked for INR 50 lakh from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP) list.
The franchise had put in a request to sign the wicketkeeper-batsman a few days ago, which has now been approved. Smith, who was involved in the ball-tampering saga during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, was removed as the captain of the side midway during the Test and was subsequently banned for one match by the ICC. However, Cricket Australia decided to hand him a one year ban.
Zubin Barucha, the head of cricket operations of the Royals had opened up about replacing Smith with Klaasen.
"Our aim was to get someone who can play spin well because we are pretty sure that spinners will have a big role to play during the IPL. Klaasen is an amazing player of spin. And he has a vast array of shots, which tempted us to go for him. He plays the reverse sweep very well, something that will be quite useful in the IPL. His strategy against them was just amazing. Smith will be back with us next year and we did not want to end up with two similar players. Our idea was to build the team keeping three years in mind. Even after Smith is back, Klaasen will be very useful for us," Bharucha told media few days ago.
Ajinkya Rahane too opened up about Klaasen's inclusion in the side in a press conference which was held a few days ago.
"Yes we would miss him but we have a replacement Heinrich Klaasen. I feel it is an added responsibility and also a big challenge for me," Rahane said during a media conference.
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