Smith to not captain Rajasthan Royals: Banned Australian batsman might not be given the captaincy for IPL 2019.
Banned Australia cricketer Steven Smith, who is currently playing for Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League, faces the unfortunate prospect of not leading Rajasthan Royals in the 12th season of the Indian Premier League.
The 29-year old right-hand batsman was bought by Rajasthan Royals before IPL 2018 as a potential candidate to lead the side. However, Smith’s involvement in Ball Tampering saga against South Africa at Cape Town last year saw him getting banned for a year by Cricket Australia and was subsequently not allowed to take part in the IPL.
Smith was expected to lead the Royals this year but even that seems to be under the clouds now. The biggest reason behind the same is Smith’s unavailability for the whole season. With Australia scheduled to play Pakistan in April, Smith will have to be on national duty.
The fact that the Australian players are only allowed to play the IPL till May 2 further means that Smith won’t be available for a major part of the tournament.
It is worth mentioning that Smith will be allowed to play in April this year. Having said that, there have been reports of the tournament starting in the third week of March to make sure that it finishes well ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Hence, Smith won’t get to play in the first few matches.
All in all, one can say that Smith will feature in a highly limited number of matches this year, something which won’t help his case as Royals’ captain. He is expected to visit India after the BPL for a camp with his IPL franchise. If reports in Mumbai Mirror are to be believed, the final decision regarding the same will be taken during the camp.
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on Smith below:
— CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) January 5, 2019
— Jonathan Northall (@jnorthall) January 6, 2019
why Steve Smith’s not playing? ohh he’s banned 😛https://t.co/FGmdBuZ6Bn
— High IQ Neanderthal (NOTA) (@cha_cha_2015) January 6, 2019
Good running back catch by Steve Smith.
— Johns (@CricCrazyJohns) January 6, 2019