Steve Smith will no longer lead the Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
The Royals paid $1.9-million earlier this year to retain the services of the Australia skipper, who was also set to lead the side this season. Ajinkya Rahane has now been promoted to captain the side.
Smith landed himself in trouble this weekend after he admitted to requesting rookie opener Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands.
As a result, he was given a one-match suspension and will miss the final Test at the Wanderers, starting on Friday.
‘Steve 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,’ the Royals said in a statement.
‘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,’ said Zubin Bharucha, Royals head of cricket.
Team co-owner Manoj Badale 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.
‘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.’
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