IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals appoint Steve Smith as captain

Dean Simpson
February 26, 2018

Royals are coming back to the IPL this year after serving a two-year ban and the official event was more of promotional nature aired by official broadcasters Star Sports as Smith's choice as leader was just a formality. "I am excited about working with Smith".

While Smith will lead the side, it also has seasoned stars like Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes. "We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job", said Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket of Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

Smith was the only player the Royals, who are returning to the competition after a two-year suspension, retained prior to the IPL auction last month.

Smith had led Rising Pune Supergiant in the last season of the IPL, taking over the mantle from MS Dhoni.

"It is great to be back at [Rajasthan] Royals". Who can forget his innings in the final against Mumbai Indians, where Smith nearly pulled off a successful chase with a brilliant knock but the team fell just short of one run. The Australian skipper, in a statement released by the club, said he was looking forward to leading the team.

"We welcome Steve Smith on board".

Warne, who retired from worldwide cricket in 2007, was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals for Dollars 450,000 in the first-ever auction and he immediately made an impact in the tournament by leading his team to victory in the inaugural edition in 2008. He had amassed 472 runs in 15 matches a year ago. He was only 25 when he got was made captain, due to the unavailability of the injured Michael Clarke and Australia's performance under him and his own unfettered stacking up of runs despite the added responsibility, he was viewed as the natural successor to Clarke. Recently, Smith broke several batting records while sensationally leading Australia to Ashes title, establishing himself as a great leader and cricketer. His presence will mean a lot to the team as we look forward to a fresh beginning and a successful season.

The Royals will kick off their IPL campaign against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9.

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