IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane could replace Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain - Reports
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IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane could replace Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain - Reports

Ajinkya Rahane could become the skipper of Rajasthan Royals after Australian skipper Steve Smith was handed a one-match ban following revelations of ball-tampering during the Newlands Test against South Africa.

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2018 21:30 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
PTI, New Delhi
Ajinkya Rahane,Steven Smith,Rajasthan Royals
Ajinkya Rahane could be the new skipper of Rajasthan Royals after Steve Smith’s admission of ball-tampering in the Newlands Test that has resulted in a one-match ban. (AFP)

Ajinkya Rahane will likely lead IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals in case an under-fire Steve Smith loses captaincy after admitting to ball tampering during the ongoing going third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The ICC today handed Smith a one-Test suspension and docked his full match fees as per its code of conduct.

The BCCI and Royals heaved a sigh of relief after Smith escaped with a mild punishment.

However, there is a school of thought in BCCI that if Smith himself decides to quit captaincy, Royals should be okay with it as they have a ready replacement in Rahane.

“Now the ball is completely in Rajasthan Royals’ court. Yes, Smith was dishonest in allowing a youngster to tamper with the ball. He has set a very bad example but Rajasthan’s plans revolve around Smith,” a senior BCCI official told PTI today.

“We think Rajasthan will like to start with a clean slate without any controversy. So it would be easier if Smith decides to play as a batsman only and let someone else take over the mantle of captaincy,” the official said.

India’s Test vice-captain Rahane is also saleable as a brand -- a must for all IPL franchises.

Rahane was one of Royals’ premier performer before they were banned for two years in the wake of the 2013 spot-fixing scandal.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 21:26 IST