Following a massive ball-tampering controversy engulfing Cricket barely days before the IPL's kick-off, Republic TV has spoken to an Indian cricketer who has been directly affected by the development.
Ajinkya Rahane has taken over from Australian Steve Smith as captain of the Rajasthan Royals following the latter accepting his role in the shocking ball-tampering that took place in the Australia vs South Africa test match.
Rahane, who has played with Smith before at the Rising Pune Supergiants, spoke to Republic TV but refrained from commenting freely on his appointment as captain or the ball-tampering, saying "he wasn't allowed to speak".
I'm not allowed to speak because I'm not speaking with anyone. You have to speak with our RR management first. I'm not speaking with anyone. That's the rule. That's why. First of all you have to speak with them. Get the permission and then speak. Because right now I'm not speaking with anyone. That's why.
The ICC on Sunday suspended Aussie captain Steve Smith for the final test match against South Africa and handed him as well as Cameron Bancroft match-fee deductions, a punishment that is being viewed as inadequate.
As per the footage, a small, yellow object was seen in Bancroft's hands after he had worked on the ball, and he was also captured taking it from his pocket and seeming to place it down his trousers. It showed Bancroft apparently rubbing the rough side of the ball, the opposite side to which he would usually be trying to shine on his trousers, as is permitted under ICC playing conditions. He appeared to put the object down his pants apparently after being spoken to by the substitute Peter Handscomb, who had come on to the field after speaking to coach Darren Lehmann over the walkie-talkie. When Bancroft spoke to the umpires, he was shown holding a bigger, black cloth rather than the small yellow object he had earlier seemed to place down his trousers.
There is no word yet on whether Smith will be facing any punishment with regards to the IPL.