Newly-appointed Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane has made the revelation that Proteas wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen has been named as the replacement of banned skipper Steve Smith. He is expected to join the franchise very soon.
The 26-year-old aggressive batsman was part of the South African One-day Internationals and Twenty20 International squad against India. This will be the first time that Klassen will rub shoulders with some of the best players in the IPL.
Smith who was set to lead Royals was levelled with ball-tampering charges during the third Test against South Africa at the Newlands. He was sent home amid the Test tour.
Cricket Australia (CA) has been pretty severe on these players. While banning them for a year, the tainted duo has also been barred by the BCCI to take part in the IPL 2018.
Rahane refused to make any comment on the punishment which was levied on Smith but said that he still respects his exceptional cricketing record.
“Whatever had to happen has happened. It’s bygone now. It is not for me to comment on the amount of penalty handed to him by the Cricket Australia and the ICC. But his cricketing record should be respected. I respect him as a batsman and player,” Rahane was quoted as saying by News 18.
“Yes we would miss him but we have a replacement in Heinrich Klaasen. I feel it is an added responsibility and also a big challenge for me,” rahane said.
It was only last week that head of cricket of Rajasthan Royals confirmed that they were interested in signing Heinrich Klaasen.
“Klaasen is an amazing player of spin. And he has a vast array of shots, which tempted us to go for him. He plays the reverse sweep very well, something that will be quite useful in the IPL,” ToI quotes Bharucha.