Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia skipper Steve Smith will captain the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the franchise announced on its website.
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.
Last year, Smith captained the Rising Pune Supergiants, who qualified for the final, but lost to the Mumbai Indians in a tense contest.
“We have some great players and cricketing minds in the team with proven leaders like Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane,” Royals’ Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha said in a release on the team’s website. “We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job. Smith has been incredible as captain of Australia. He is someone who leads the team by example.”
With the Royals having appointed Shane Warne as their mentor, Smith admitted that he is delighted to be working alongside the Australian spin king.
“Its great to be back with the Royals,” Smith said. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be leading Royals and I’m looking forward to working with the King (Shane Warne).”
The Royals will kick off their IPL campaign against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9.