Sports

Disgraced Steve Smith steps down as Rajasthan Royals captain, Ajinkya Rahane to lead in IPL

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After admitting to ball-tampering during Australia’s loss to South Africa in the Cape Town Test, Steve Smith has stepped down from his position as captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals. India batsman Ajinkya Rahane will be replacing the Aussie skipper in the role for the IPL 2018 season.

The development has taken place a couple of days after Smith and teammate Cameron Bancroft sensationally admitted to having tampered the ball on Day 3 of the third Test against the Proteas.

“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 Ajinkya 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,” the franchise’s co-owner, Manoj Badale, stated in a press release on Monday.