Cricket: Steve Smith quits as Royals IPL captain after scandal

Steve Smith admitted that Australian players planned ball tampering during the third Test against South Africa.
Steve Smith admitted that Australian players planned ball tampering during the third Test against South Africa.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals on Monday (March 26) replaced Australia's Steve Smith as captain over his role in a ball-tampering controversy.

A club statement said India's Ajinkya Rahane would take over as skipper in the IPL season starting April 7.

"Steve believes given the current circumstances it's in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions," the club said.

Smith, 28, was banned for one Test by the International Cricket Council after admitting that Australian players planned ball tampering during the third Test against South Africa. He is also expected to face sanction from Cricket Australia.