Suspended Australia batsman Steven Smith might not be part of IPL 2019. Rajasthan Royals, the concerned franchise is also seeking alternatives for the right-hander. Of late, Steven Smith returned home mid-way from the Bangladesh Premier League; as he would under the knife to get his injured elbow repaired. Cited by the medical advisors, he will remain in the brace for at least six weeks. Not only this, an extensive rehabilitation would be awaiting; keeping Smith’s chances to appear for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019 bleak.
Uncertainty over Steven Smith looms
Most recently, Rajasthan Royals named former staff member, Paddy Upton as the head coach of the franchise for the twelfth edition. However, there was no word released on Steven Smith. As Cricket Australia had banned their ex-captain for 12 months for his involvement in the infamous Sandpaper Gate in March, the IPL committee also barred Smith from appearing for Rajasthan Royals. Though his ban is about to get finished on March 28th, Steven Smith’s availability for the IPL 2019 remains under the question.
The franchise thus has thought of seeking an alternative for the batsman. Rajasthan retained him at the IPL 2019 auctions for 12 crores. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, RR planned first to release the player ahead of the auctions and then get him on a relatively lower price. However, they dropped the plan keeping Smith’s image in mind. Jaydev Unadkat was the prime example of the strategy; at IPL 2019 auctions, RR repurchased him for 8.4 crores.
Shane Warne’s job in a dilemma?
Shane Warne, under who Rajasthan had won their only IPL title, will see his position falling in the grey area. Though he had mentored Royals in the previous season, with Patty taking up the coach role, Warne is unlikely to feature in RR’s dressing room. However, he could be the brand ambassador or even appear in the commercials for the Rajasthan Royals.