Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Monday issued a statement after the world’s biggest cricket scandal broke following Australian players Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitting to charges of ball-tampering after the latter was spotted trying to change the condition of the ball by using a foreign object. Ajinkya Rahane will be replacing Steve Smith as captain of the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, the statement read.
1. Steve Smith was not removed, but he stepped down as captain
Despite Steve Smith admitting to charges of ball-tampering, he was apparently not removed as the captain; the Australian player stepped down as the skipper of Rajasthan Royals.
The statement read, “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.”
2. Steve Smith was not sacked; he is still part of the team
Steve Smith has not been sacked from Rajasthan Royals team. He will still be among the potential 11 to play for the team when Rajasthan Royals will kick-start their season this year with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9. With IPL allowing cheats to play, a pertinent question arises on its credibility.
3. Rajasthan Royals says ‘difficult time’ for Steve Smith
It the official statement, Rajasthan Royals, instead of setting a strong example against cheats like Steve Smith, was seeming almost adulatory about the cricketer.
The statement had sentences like, “He (Smith) would like to extend his gratitude to the BCCI officials and all the fans in India for their constant support.”
Manoj Badale, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, also said that this would be a ‘difficult time’ for Steve given how much he ‘cares’ about the game.
“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,” Manoj Badale said in the statement.
Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted to charges of ball-tampering after the latter was found trying to change the condition of the ball by using a foreign object. Both Smith and Bancroft admitted the charges after the end of the third day's play during Australia's third Test match against South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town.
Following the scandal, Smith and David Warner stepped down as captain and vice-captain, respectively, for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa. Steve Smith has been handed a one-Test match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee, while Cameron Bancroft has been fined 75% of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct for the ball-tampering incident.