Steve Smith’s torrid last 48 hours have led to him stepping down as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals.
The Ball Tampering scandal which surfaced during the 3rd Test of the South Africa vs Australia series has tarnished the image of the Australian captain and could see him getting a lengthy ban from Cricket Australia.
ICC has already acted on the situation and slapped a one Test ban on Steve Smith and while the punishment doesn’t seem as harsh as the act, the ‘ball tampering’ clause in the ICC Code of Conduct does not allow the Match referee to go any further with respect to the punishment.
Ball Tampering isn’t considered as a very grave offence, the difference in this situation is that it was a pre meditated action which involved comprehensive planning on the part of multiple players in the team(led by the captain).
And while the ICC has its hands tied, Cricket Australia and the Rajasthan Royals don’t, both of whom have asked Smith to step down from the help of affairs of the respective teams.
“The game is bigger than any individual and we hold this thought close to our heart.”- Manoj Badale , the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 26, 2018
Steve Smith who was retained by the Royals ahead of the mega IPL auction will continue to be part of the franchise, however, he will not be leading it. Ajinkya Rahane, the Indian Test vice-captain has been confirmed as the captain for IPL 2018.
The news was announced by Zubin Bharuchia, Royals’ head of cricket through a media release.
The IPL governing body hasn’t quite addressed the situation in their full capacity as of now and hence Smith will continue to be Royals player until further notice.
Smith should in all probability be allowed to play but more on that later.
Rajasthan Royals start their IPL campaign on the 9th of April against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.