IPL 2018: 5 players who can replace Steve Smith if he is banned
Steve Smith may miss out on the IPL if sanctioned by Cricket Australia on the back of Sandpaper Gate.
The last four days have been very tough for all the Australian cricketers and the fans as their team is in crisis after what happened in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town where Cameron Bancroft was caught trying to tamper the ball with sandpaper. As an aftermath of it, we might see some players getting strictly punished.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland confirmed that Bancroft, captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner will leave South Africa and are likely to be punished.
Though the punishment is set to be sanctioned in the next 24 hours, it is likely that the players will be handed out a minimum of a one-year ban. If the players are banned, the likes of Warner and Smith won't be able to take part in the upcoming 2018 IPL. Their absence, thus, will leave a huge void in their respective IPL teams.
Let us take a look at five possible replacements for Steve Smith if he is banned by Cricket Australia from taking part in the IPL.
#5 Lendl Simmons
West Indian batsman Lendl Simmons is one of the most underrated players to have played in the IPL. In spite of playing a key role for Mumbai Indians in their 2015 IPL triumph, he couldn't seal his place in the side for the 2017 season and was later released by the franchise ahead of the 2018 IPL auction. He was eventually unsold in the auction.
Registering himself at a base price of Rs. 1.5 crore, the former Mumbai Indians opener failed to attract a bid in spite of his impressive numbers in the tournament which reads 1079 runs in 29 matches at an average of nearly 40 and a strike-rate of 126.64. He can bat anywhere in the top-four and the Royals might consider him as a replacement player for Smith if he is banned.