With barely a week to go for the eleventh season of the Indian Premier League, the returning franchise Rajasthan Royals have announced South African Heinrich Klaasen as the replacement for the Australian Steve Smith.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been picked for Rs 50 lakh from the Registered and Available Player Pool list after he went unsold in the auction in January.
The 26-year-old recently made his international debut against India in 50-over format and won the Man of the Match award in his second ODI. He then made his debut in the shortest format of the game in the following three-match T20I series.
Earlier, India’s Ajinkya Rahane was handed over the role of captaincy by the Rajasthan Royals after they stripped Steve Smith of the role. Smith, who is now banned for a year by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering saga that unfolded in the third Test of the on-going tour of South Africa.
Before the Royals decided to appoint a new captain for this season, the Australian captain himself stepped down from his post for the national team before the start of the fourth day of the Cape Town Test. Along with Smith, his vice-captain David Warner also stepped down from his post and handed over the leadership duties to wicket keeper Tim Paine.
After the Royals, it was the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise who dropped David Warner as the captain of their team.
Currently, both Warner and Smith are serving one year bans from Cricket Australia while Cameron Bancroft, the player who went through with the act of tampering with the ball was handed a nine month ban.