Royals bring in Klaasen to replace suspended Smith
South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen went unsold at the IPL auction but will now replace Steve Smith at Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals have signed Heinrich Klaasen to replace the suspended Steve Smith for the 2018 Indian Premier League.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen has played four one-day games and three Twenty20 internationals for South Africa, all against India earlier this year.
The 26-year-old went unsold in the initial IPL auction in January but will now be part of a Royals squad that also includes England duo Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
“I am thankful to the Rajasthan Royals for giving me this opportunity and making me part of the squad," Klaasen told the franchise's official website.
"It will be my first IPL and, in fact, my first ever visit to India so I am really excited to be teaming up and sharing the dressing room with some great names.
"I have made it my mission to ensure my performance makes a large impact for my team in the tournament."
Smith was banned from this year's tournament by the BCCI due to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket.
The batsman, along with compatriot David Warner, was handed a 12-month ban following an investigation by Cricket Australia. Cameron Bancroft was also suspended for nine months, though all three players have the right to appeal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad had already announced the signing of England opener Alex Hales to replace Warner, who led the team to the title in 2016.