IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane could replace Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain - Reports | cricket | Hindustan Times
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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
PTI, New Delhi
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.
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.