Rajasthan Royals will miss Steve Smith, affirms Zubin Bharucha
Royals will play Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening encounter on April 9.
Updated - Apr 1, 2018 1:41 pm
Steve Smith will not be featuring in the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals after he was banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for a year. He was also barred from playing in the T20 extravaganza which is all set to commence on April 7 in Mumbai. He was also the captain of the team and Royals will now be led by Ajinkya Rahane in his absence. However, the owner of the franchise Zubin Bharucha also believes that the team will miss the stature of a player like Smith during the tournament.
Interestingly, Royals have also cleared that Smith will be part of their squad and will join them next year after serving his 12-month ban. They have approached South African cricketer Heinrich Klaasen as his replacement for this season and the official announcement might come from them soon. Royals will play their first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9 who have also lost their skipper in David Warner for the same reason.
We have quality Indian batsman
Zubin Bharucha, while speaking to ANI, believed that the team would not miss Steve Smith as a batsman but would rather miss the stature of a player like him. “When we go to auction, we always look for backups. There are certain players like all-rounders, who you don’t have many, that person you will miss, but we have dozens of quality batsman in India. So we will not miss anybody,” he said.
Bharucha also updated that they have got the perfect replacement in Klaasen for Smith but will miss the Australian’s impact during the course of the tournament. “Obviously we miss stature of a player like Smith and the quality he brings but as a team, we are absolutely prepared and we obviously got his replacement as Heinrich Klaasen. So, strategically there has been no change,” the Royals owner added.