Rajasthan Royals names Steve Smith as skipper

Carla Harmon
February 25, 2018

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the most expensive buy in the IPL player auction at Rs 12.5 crore while Steve Smith - the Australia skipper who led Rising Pune Supergiants a year ago - and Ajinkya Rahane have demonstrated their leadership skills on the big stage.

"We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job", Zubin Bharucha, Rajasthan Royals' head of cricket, said Saturday.

In January, the franchise had only retained the Australia captain, making it evident that he would be the one leading the side.

Sportstar was first to report the development in January, when Badale had told this publication that Smith was set to lead the team in the eleventh edition of the tournament.

Shane Warne, who will return to the Royals' den as mentor this year, said, "We will play the Royals' brand of cricket, that is, with spirit and aggression, with which we are known to play with". Thanks for giving me the honour and privilege of leading the Royals.

"Its great to be back with the Royals". Over the course of three days, they were seen honing their batting, bowling and fielding skills by playing practice matches and undergoing fitness drills. I am looking forward to have a successful campaign.

His CV is even more impressive now considering he took Pune, a team that finished last in 2016 to the final of the 2017 edition, where they lost by a single run.

Ahead of the captain announcement, Warne said, "The captain plays an important role as there are players coming from different countries and he needs to bring them all together".

The Australian skipper had earlier led Rising Pune Supergiant in the last season of the IPL, replacing former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Rajasthan will play their first fixture of the 2018 season against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on April 9.

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