13 Jan, 2021
Rajasthan Royals are set to release Steve Smith ahead of the Indian Premier League 2021 auction. The Royals are expected to come to a decision in a short while as the deadline for submitting the list of retained players is January 20. One of the major reasons behind RR not persisting with Smith is his topsy-turvy form in the previous edition where the team finished at the bottom of the table, according to ESPNcricinfo.
The franchise management asked the Royals to be more consistent in contention for the playoffs. His inefficiency, both as a leader and batsman came to the fore in a season review conducted by the Royals. In the previous edition of the IPL, the New South Wales-born Smith and Royals had a tough time while playing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Ahead of the 2018 auction, the Royals retained Smith for a massive INR 12.5 crores, which translated to around USD 1.953 million back then. The team appointed him as the captain, but the right-hander stepped down after the infamous ball-tampering scandal at the Newlands in Cape Town. However, in 2019, Smith got back captaincy after Ajinkya Rahane was sacked.
According to Indian other media reports, the team may also release Mayank Markand, Ankit Rajput, Manan Bhohra, Shashank Singh, Varun Aaron, Ocean Thomas, Aniruddha Joshi, Andrew Tie, Akash Singh and Anuj Rawat before the start of the new IPL season.