Rajasthan Royals release Smith ahead of IPL 2021 auction
Rajasthan Royals have decided to release Australian batsman Steve Smith ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL)’s 2021 mini-auction.
The decision has been taken after quite a few rounds of discussion, on the final day before submitting the list to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Steve has had a huge contribution but we decided to not renew his contract after much deliberation,” informed an official.
The Australian premier batsman led the Royals in last year’s IPL but had an underwhelming season both as a batsman as well as a leader. He played all the 14 league matches, scoring 311 runs at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries. His team also finished in the bottom of the points table.
He has been part of the Royals squad since 2019, when he took charge from Ajinkya Rahane in the middle of the season.
According to reports, it is likely that Sanju Samson could be handed over the captaincy. However, the officials claimed that they are yet to take a call.
The Royals currently have a purse of 14.75 crore. as they have decided to retain England pacer Jofra Archer, wicketkeeper Sanju Samson, and youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Earlier former India batsman Aakash Chopra had said that former champions Rajasthan Royals should enter the tournament under the leadership of a new skipper.
“On paper, Rajasthan Royals feels like one of the most complete teams in the IPL, but on the field, the team has failed to impress even its staunch supporters,” he said.
He further added, “Though RR had something to cheer about in Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag last season, they still finished at the bottom of the table. I feel the team needs a new leader and that has to be at the top of the priority list next season.”