Australia captain Steve Smith will lead the Rajasthan Royals in this year's Indian Premier League. While it was expected that Smith was in the reckoning to become the captain of Rajasthan Royals, the club made the announcement on Saturday. "We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job," said Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket of Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. "Smith has been incredible as captain of Australia. He is someone who leads the team by example," he added. Smith will join Australian spin legend Shane Warne, who was announced as the team's mentor earlier this year. The Australian skipper, in a statement released by the club, said he was looking forward to leading the team.
"It's an honour and privilege to be leading (the) Royals and I'm looking forward to working with the King (Shane Warne)," Smith said.
In 2008, Warne captained the Royals to victory in the inaugural season of what is now the world's most watched domestic T20 league.
The Royals, along with the Chennai Super Kings, were banned for two IPL seasons over an illegal gambling scandal.
They have put together a strong squad ahead of their return for the 2018 season, bagging top names like England allrounder Ben Stokes at the player auction last month.
The eight teams in the cash-rich IPL -- boosted recently by a new five-year $2.5-billion media deal -- spent almost $70 million at an auction for players ahead of the Twenty20 tournament, which runs from April 7 to May 27.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals' Indian cricketers were part of a three-day camp organised at the Cricket Club of India (CCI)'s Brabourne stadium in Mumbai from Tuesday. Seven Indian players, part of the Rajasthan Royals' squad for the upcoming season of IPL had undergo training at the camp under the guidance of Bharucha. Over the course of three days, they were seen honing their batting, bowling and fielding skills by playing practice matches and undergoing fitness drills. On day one of the camp, the likes of Aryaman Birla, Mahipal Lomror, S Midhun and Jatin Saxena attended the role specification camp from 9:30 am to 4 pm.
(With AFP Inputs)