Ajinkya Rahane to lead Rajasthan Royals as Steve Smith steps down from his captaincy

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After confessing to ball-tampering during Australia’s loss to South Africa in the Cape Town Test, Steve Smith has stepped down from his rank as captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals. The Aussie skipper will be replaced by Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane as the Rajasthan Royal’s captain for the IPL 2018 season.

This happening has taken place after a couple of days, Smith and teammate, Cameron Bancroft sensationally confessed to having tempered the ball of the Third Test on Day 3 against South Africa. Whereas Australia lost the match by 322 runs, the Test itself was outshined by the shameful incident on Saturday, with Bancroft caught on cameras using sandpaper in an effort to shine the ball. Earlier to this, Rajasthan Royals had stated that it would wait for the instructions from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before deciding on Smith’s future as captain of the team. The IPL franchise, on the other hand, confirmed the change in a press release on Monday.

The franchise’s co-owner, Manoj Badale, said in a press release that “Rajasthan Royals will do everything possible to protect the values and the integrity of the game. We agree with Steve’s decision to step down as captain, and we are fortunate to have such a capable successor with Ajinkya Rahane. It is important that all cricket fans retain a balanced perspective on the situation. 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”. Rajasthan Royals’ first match will be in the side’s IPL 2018 opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on April 9.

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