Big news coming up before Royal clash against Mumbai Indians at their home ground. Ajinkya Rahane-India’s test vice-captain who also did a fantastic job in leading the team to the playoffs last year has been SACKED! The franchise now thinks a fresh approach is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track as their chances of qualify for the playoffs are very bleak. They now share the table with RCB with the same points in the Table.
Steve Smith will now lead Rajasthan Royals – replacing Ajinkya Rahane – with the side winning just two matches of eight played thus far. The announcement came just ahead of RR’s home game against Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur. In the statement, RR stated the decision came with the “franchise now thinks a fresh approach is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track.”
Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, said, ‘Ajinkya is and will always be a true Royal. He led the team to the playoffs in 2018 in a very challenging scenario and that will go down as one of the great comebacks of the IPL. He remains a key part of our side and leadership team and will extend support wherever required to Steve.”
“Steve is one of the most innovative and successful captains in the world, in all formats of the game. We are confident he can lead the Royals to success,” added Bharucha.
Rahane was named RR captain last season after Smith was barred from participating in the tournament owing to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal with Australia. Last season, RR made the playoffs but have failed to replicate that performance this season.
Earlier today, after not being considered for the World Cup, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane sought permission to play first-class cricket for English county Hampshire. It is understood that Rahane, who is a Grade-A contracted player from BCCI wants to keep his cricketing career going and looks to improve his skills by playing in different conditions.
Royals currently stand seventh in the eight-team league with two wins out of eight matches played. With just four points from a possible 16 and realistically out of running for the playoffs, RR have made the change for the upcoming IPL match.