Reports: Steve Smith unlikely to lead Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019
Shane Warne will also have his say in the decision-making,
Published - Jan 6, 2019 11:24 am | Updated - Jan 6, 2019 11:24 am
Steve Smith is all set to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year after missing out in the last season. Just before the tournament began, he was banned by the Cricket Australia (CA) for a period of 12 months for his part in the infamous ball-tampering scandal. Since then, the cricketer has been plying his trade in the T20 leagues across the world and soon after the ban ends, will be playing in the cash-rich league in March.
He was appointed the captain by the franchise after being retained last year but was then not allowed to participate in the league along with David Warner as the duo was banned thanks to the Newlands fiasco. March 29 is the date when their ban ends and many are expecting Smith to take up the leadership role once again for the Royals.
Warne’s inputs crucial
According to the reports in Mumbai Mirror, Steve Smith is unlikely to be crowned as the skipper of Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season of the IPL. More than anything else, the cricketer’s limited availability is the problem as Australia is expected to play ODI series against Pakistan during the competition and will also leave early with the World Cup soon to follow after the IPL.
It is also being understood that the Royals mentor and the former Australian cricketer Shane Warne will also give its inputs on the matter before the final decision is taken. Smith, who is in Bangladesh currently to participate in the T20 League (BPL), will travel to India later this month to attend the Royals camp and then the captaincy decision will be taken. As of now, Ajinkya Rahane, who led the side to the playoffs last season, is the favourite to retain the top job.
Though Smith will be grateful for returning to playing the game of cricket and his form will be extremely crucial for the franchise during the IPL.