His reputation in tatters following the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa, Australian captain Steve Smith will soon know whether he will be able to play in the IPL next month — and if so, in what role.
Smith is captain of Rajasthan Royals. On Sunday morning, he stepped aside from his position as captain of the Australian team in the third Test in the wake of the tampering row in Cape Town. Later, the ICC banned Smith for the fourth Test in Johannesburg. On Sunday night, ESPNCricinfo reported that Smith and his deputy David Warner faces anything up to a life ban for cheating under Cricket Australia’s code of behaviour.
Asked about their next step, the Royals management chose to wait and watch. “We will let you know. Please bear with us,” CEO Ranjit Barthakur told The Indian Express.
Earlier, before the ICC announced its ban, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said the BCCI and Royals would wait for the official sanction against Smith. “We will only take a call depending on the magnitude of the sanction. Smith is an important player for Royals and their skipper,” Shukla told PTI.
The other Australian player who will play a leadership role in the IPL is David Warner, as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad. On Sunday, like Smith, Warner stepped down as vice-captain of the Australian team.