Sports

IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals confirm Steve Smith's replacement

IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals confirm Steve Smith's replacement

Heinrich Klaasen, the South African wicketkeeper-batsman, will replace Steven Smith in the Rajasthan Royals squad for the Indian Premier League 2018, it was announced on Monday (April 2). Smith had last week stepped down as captain of Rajasthan following the ball-tampering controversy that broke in Cape Town, and then had his IPL contract torn up once Cricket Australia suspended him for 12 months. Moreover, Rajasthan appointed Ajinkya Rahane as captain in place of him and now they have also named his replacement.

Klaasen, 26, had not been picked up in the auction in January, and Rajasthan got him for his base price of Rs 50 lakh.

More news: BCCI to create a database and monitor top Indian players

Klaseen, who made his global debut for South Africa against Indian in February, has a strike rate of 146 after 44 innings in the shortest format of the game. Soon, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also barred Smith's participation in the cash-rich T20 extravaganza. However, Cricket Australia chose to hand him a one year ban. "We look forward to working with Klaasen to ensure he has a great career in the IPL", said Rajasthan Royal's Head of Cricket, Zubin Bharucha. Klassen, who demonstrated his ability to play in limited overs format against India by playing an array of shots against the quality Indian spin attack. Our idea was to build the team keeping three years in mind. "So we will not miss anybody", Bharucha told reporter here. "I feel it is an added responsibility and also a big challenge for me".

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 global debut against India in 50-over format and won the Man of the Match award in his second ODI. "Even after Smith is back, Klaasen will be very useful for us".


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