Reports: Steve unlikely to captain the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019

Steve Smith and David Warner
Steve Smith and David Warner

What’s the story?

Steve Smith, if he regains full fitness on time, is set to take part in this year’s IPL following his one-year ban. However, it looks like he will be an unlikely candidate to captain the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s tournament as per reports.

In case you didn’t know…

Steve Smith was appointed as captain of the Rajasthan Royals before their 2018 campaign. However, the former Australian captain was suspended for one year by Cricket Australia following a controversial ball-tampering scandal during the Test series against South Africa which prevented him from participating in the cash-rich league last year.

The heart of the matter

Following his suspension, Steve Smith participated in various T20 leagues around the world with the exception of the IPL. With his suspension coming to an end, he will be expected to take part in the IPL this year.

Steve Smith’s suspension ends on March 29 and many fans are expecting Steve Smith to assume the role of captain for the Royals. However, that may not be the case as the BCCI may follow Cricket Australia's regulations which prevent him from taking any leadership role for the next two years. The Australian batsman’s limited availability could also be a reason which may prevent him from leading his franchise in the IPL this year.

After his suspension is over, Steve will be available for international selection as well. This means that he will most likely be a part of Australia’s ODI series against Pakistan. To add to this, he is expected to leave early to prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup which will soon commence following the IPL.

If BCCI allow Smith to assume his leadership role of the Royals, then Rajasthan Royals will have a tough decision to make regarding the captaincy. Obviously, 'Rajasthan Royals’ mentor Shane Warne will give his inputs before the final decision is taken. But the way things are looking for Steve Smith, it would make perfect sense to appoint someone else as the skipper of the Royals.

What’s next?

Steve Smith is currently set to undergo elbow surgery after suffering an injury during the Bangladesh Premier League. The IPL is set to begin on March 23rd with all eight teams ready to take on each other for ultimate supremacy.

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Edited by Vignesh Ananthasubramanian
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