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RR release Smith, Samson named captain for IPL-14

Last updated on: January 20, 2021 19:48 IST

Steve Smith had led Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in 2020 but the team finished a disappointing last

IMAGE: Steve Smith had led Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in 2020 but the team finished a disappointing last. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Rajasthan Royals have decided against renewing the contract of their high-profile captain Steve Smith ahead of the 14th Indian Premier League this year.

Sanju Samson has been named skipper while former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has joined as Director.

On being named captain, Sanju Samson said: “It’s an absolute honour to have been announced as the captain of RR. It’s a team that is so close to my heart, which I’ve been lucky enough to play for over the years..."

Under Smith's captaincy, the inaugural edition champions RR finished last in the last IPL in the UAE, where the star Australian batsman played all the 14 league matches and scored 311 runs at a strike rate of 131.

 

This included three half-centuries, but his contribution as a leader came under the scanner after the team's forgettable performance.

"His contract was up in October 2020, not being renewed," a franchise source told PTI.

Ahead of the 2018 IPL, Smith was the only player retained by the Royals for Rs 12.5 crore.

The same year, the Royals returned from a two-year suspension and appointed Smith as the captain.

However, he stepped down from the position in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa ahead of the lucrative league.

Smith recently drew flak for his underwhelming performance in the series against India.

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