Steve Smith has been announced to lead the returning Rajasthan Royals franchise in the upcoming season of the IPL, the team has announced today. Smith, who led the Rising Pune Supergiant to the final last year, was the only player that the 2008 Champions had retained ahead of the mega-auction.
The Royals, who came into the auction with just one retention, tried to get their core back by buying as many players of the now-defunct Pune franchise in the
“We have some great players and cricketing minds in the team with proven leaders like Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job. Smith has been incredible as captain of Australia. He is someone who leads the team by example,” Zubin Bharucha, RR's Head of Cricket, said in the Star Sports event.
After working under the watchful eyes of Stephen Fleming in Pune last year, Smith will now work under compatriot and former Royals captain Shane Warne, who has returned to the franchise as a mentor, this time around and he voiced his excitement in working with the “King”.
“It’s great to be back with the Royals. It’s an honour and a privilege to be leading Royals and
Warne, who was associated with the franchise as captain and coach in the past, led the side to glory in the first ever IPL where they beat MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the final. With his imminent return to the franchise, who are also making their return after being away for two years, the Aussie legend issued a rallying cry to his players and fans.
“We will play the Royals’ brand of cricket, that is, with spirit and aggression, with which we are known to play with. I am looking forward to exciting cricket and a successful campaign,” Warne said.
“Smudge has been with the Royals in the past. He is a very passionate and influential player and we are excited to have him with us again."— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) February 24, 2018
Co-owner, Manoj Badale talks about @SteveSmith as the #RoyalCaptain #IPL2018!https://t.co/CG5aQhK35S#PhirHallaBol #Cricket #HallaBol pic.twitter.com/f5uuRsO9JJ