Ajinkya Rahane will replace Steve Smith as captain of the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2018.
Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket, Rajasthan Royals said in a statement that “the incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore, we have been in regular contact with Steve.”
“Steve believes given the current circumstances, it’s in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as Captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions’. He would like to extend his gratitude to the BCCI officials and all the fans in India for their constant support,” the statement reads.
Speaking at the announcement of the new captain, Bharucha added, “Rahane has been an integral part of the Royals family for a long time now and he understands the culture and values of our team. We have absolutely no doubt that he will be a great leader of the Rajasthan Royals.”
“Rajasthan Royals will do everything possible to protect the values and the integrity of the game. We agree with Steve’s decision to step down as captain, and we are fortunate to have such a capable successor with Rahane. It is important that all cricket fans retain a balanced perspective on the situation. What happened in South Africa was clearly wrong, especially given that it appears to have been pre-meditated. That said, this will be a difficult time for Steve as well, given how much he cares about the game,” said Manoj Badale, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals will launch their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, April 9, followed by their first home game in Jaipur on Wednesday, April 11th where they will host Delhi Daredevils at Sawai Mansingh stadium.
SRH captain David Warner was Smith’s deputy on the Aussies tour of South Africa and has been stripped off his position of the team vice-captain for the “tampering gate” fiasco.
Welcoming Rahane as the Captain of the team, Ranjit Barthakur, Executive Chairman, Rajasthan Royals, said, “Rahane has stepped up as a leader whenever he has been given the opportunity, be it for Team India or at Rajasthan Royals. We consider him the right candidate to lead the side this crucial season when the team is coming back to the IPL after two years. We wish him all the best.”
“Governance and security are the prime policies that we as a franchise have taken into consideration and hence Rajasthan Royals’ management is working towards deploying the best of governing and security methodologies to deliver the very best for the game of cricket in Jaipur,” added Barthakur.