Rajasthan Royals, the winner of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Wednesday have let go of their skipper Steve Smith ahead of the 2021 edition. This implies that Rajasthan will be looking for a new captain in the upcoming auction, expected to take next month.
Smith had started off well in IPL 2020, which was played in the UAE, but his performance fell as the league unraveled leaving him with 311 runs in the 14 matches he played, at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries. According to ESPNCricinfo, Smith's insignificant impact as a player and captain led to Rajasthan Royals parting ways with the Aussie.
Smith had joined Rajasthan after being roped for $600,000 in the 2014 auction and was handed the captaincy in the latter half of the 2015 season. With the franchise being banned owing to corruption charges, Smith was brought by Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 and led the franchise in 2017 to IPL final.
On the Royals returning to IPL, Smith was back with Rajasthan in 2019, having missed the 2018 season owing to the ball-tampering scandal. He was handed over the captaincy duties in the later half of the 2019 season after the Royals lost six out of their first eight games.
In IPL 2020, where Smith led the side from the start of the season, the 2008 champions finished bottom of the table with six wins in 14 games.