The Rajasthan Royals are set to release their captain Steve Smith before the 2021 IPL auction. The franchise will take a final decision on this soon. The final list of retained and released players will be sent soon, as the IPL franchise has been given a deadline of January 20.
According to media reports, one of the major reasons behind considering the release of Smith is that his form in the 13th edition of the tournament has not been good, where the Royals finished last in the league of eight teams. Smith played all 14 league matches for the team, scoring 311 runs at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries. The franchise management wanted the team to at least reach the playoffs. After winning the IPL title in the inaugural season in 2008, the Royals made it to the playoffs in 2013, 2015 and then in 2018.
RR retained Steve Smith in 2018 auction:
Prior to the 2018 auction, Smith was the only player retained by the Royals for 12.5 crores (approximately US $ 1.953 million). In 2018, the Royals returned after a two-year suspension and appointed Smith as captain. However, Smith withdrew from the IPL due to the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Sanju Samson may lead RR for the upcoming edition:
In the case of Smith’s release, Rajasthan Royals will have to appoint a new captain. At the same time, Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson may lead the team for the upcoming season. On Monday, Samson led Kerala in their first match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Samson, who was recently part of the white-ball leg of the Australian tour, was bought by the Royals at a 2018 auction for Rs 8 crore (approximately US $ 1.25 million).