The Hush Post: Ajinkya Rahane is now captain of Rajasthan Royals as Steve Smith stepped down.
After being embroiled in a ball tampering controversy, cricketer Steve Smith has stepped down from the captaincy of the Rajasthan Royals.
Just when the ball tampering controversy broke, Rajasthan Royals had stated that it would await direction from the Board of Control for Cricket in India before deciding on whether Smith would continue as captain. But the news of Ajinkya Rahane taking over as captain was broken via a press release.
“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 today.
Rahane’s opening match as the skipper will be in the IPL 2018 opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on April 9. Spin great Shane Warne will continue to be the mentor of the Rajasthan Royals. Shane Warne had captained the team during the 2008 title.
All this has taken place after Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted to having tampered the ball on Day 3 of the third Test against South Africa. At Cape Town, Australia lost the Test by 322 runs.
Bancroft was caught on camera using a sticky tape in an attempt to shine the ball.
Smith has also stepped down from the captain’s role for the remainder of the Test in Cape Town. He has been given a one-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which means that he will not be captaining the team in the final match against South Africa.
Meanwhile, Australian press reacted to the Smith saga like this:
The Age: Steve Smith has done the wrong thing, but spare me the hysterical overreaction
The Australian: Captain not the only one to blame
The Daily Telegraph: Chris Lynn says every cricketer has ball-tampered while Jason Gillespie says Steve Smith’s reign is over
The Courier-Mail: Australian cricket faces painful reality
The Canberra Times: For Australian cricket, arrogance rewarded just led to more arrogance
Brisbane Times: ‘A shameful moment for Australian sport’: Cricket sponsors hit out
Herald Sun: HOW SOUTH AFRICA LAID TRAP TO CATCH AUSSIES
Australian Financial Review: Cricket Australia boss moves to soothe sponsor concerns after cheating scandal
Daily Mercury: The lesson our cricket team needs to learn