As Rajasthan Royals return to the IPL after a suspension period of two years, they are bound to be in news again. Steve Smith stepped down as the captain of Rajasthan Royals, giving way to a clear path for the team amidst the Cape Town controversies. Ajinkya Rahane has been announced as the new captain for IPL 2018.
IPL starts from April 7 and with Steve Smith having stepped down, it will now be Ajinkya Rahane who will be leading the team in IPL 2018. At the IPL 2018 auction, Ajainkya was purchased for Rs 4 crore via one of their Right-to-Match cards.
Rahane played for the Royals from 2011 to 2015, before the franchise was suspended for two seasons by the BCCI. He shone brightly in 2012 when he scored a 98 in his first game of IPL 5, against Kings XI Punjab. Later, he weaved magic by hitting the IPL season’s first in the first century (103 runs) against Royal Challengers Bangalore. As far as the franchise’s best performers are concerned, it is Shane Watson with 2474 runs, followed by Rahane with 2333 runs in 72 innings.
The franchise took to Twitter to make the big “change of captaincy” announcement.
— Twitter Moments India (@MomentsIndia) March 26, 2018
“The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricketing world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore, we have been in regular contact with Steve,” said Zubin Bharucha, RR’s head of cricket.
“Ajinkya 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,” Bharucha added.
“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.” said Manoj Badale, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals is prepping up for their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad scheduled for Monday, April 9th. Thier next match is in their hometown, so to say. RR plays its second match with Delhi Daredevils at Sawai Mansingh stadium.