After Cricket Cheating Row, Australia’s Steve Smith Quits as Rajasthan Royals Captain

Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane to take over as the Rajasthan Royals captain after former Australian Test cricket team captain Steve Smith stepped down from the position.


Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane will be the new captain of the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals (RR) after Australian cricketer Steve Smith, mired in a ball-tampering scandal, stepped down from the position on March 26.

Smith is facing censure from the global cricketing community and has been penalized for ball tampering that took place under his watch during a Test match between South Africa and Australia on March 24. Smith has been banned from the fourth and final Test beginning March 30, and has been fined his entire match fee for the third Test by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Smith’s cricketing career also seems to be  in jeopardy.

James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, will arrive in South Africa on March 27 “to determine recommended outcomes.”

In his statement about resigning from the Indian franchise, Smith said that he 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.”

Zubin Bharucha, the head of Cricket of Rajasthan Royals, said, “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…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.”

Manoj Badale, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, said: “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.”

Smith and David Warner, the Australia cricket team vice captain, stepped down from their positions after their teammate Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera pulling sticky tape from his pocket and rubbing it on the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa on March 24. South Africa won the match by 322 runs.

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