Champions of the 1st edition of the Indian Primer League (IPL) Rajasthan Royals have named Australian captain Steve Smith as the skipper of the team on Saturday.
Smith, who was a part the side for two years, in 2014 and 2015, was the only player to be retained by the franchise, for Rs 12 crore. He has been leading Australia in all three formats of the game has been very successful and thus he was the prominent name in the race.
Smith returns to the squad after having spent the last two years at Rising Pune Supergiant, the interim franchise that filled in for the Royals and the Super Kings for the previous two seasons, along with the now-defunct Gujarat Lions. The team led by Smith participated in final and ended as the runners-up.
Speaking on the move, Rajasthan Royals mentor Shane Warne said in a team statement: "A captain is instrumental to create a culture within the team".
"It's great to be back with the Royals". Smith said that he was looking forward to work with Warne. "Hope we will be able to bring glory to the team".
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"We have some great players and cricketing minds in the team with proven leaders like Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane", Royals' Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha said in a release on the team's website.
"We welcome Steve Smith on board. He is someone who leads the team by example". While it was expected that Smith was in the problem solving to become the captain of Rajasthan Royals, the club made the announcement on Saturday.
The eight teams in the cash-rich IPL - boosted recently by a new five-year $2.5-billion media deal - spent nearly $70 million at an auction for players ahead of the Twenty20 tournament, which runs from April 7 to May 27.
Rajasthan will play their first fixture of the 2018 season against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on April 9.