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IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals considered releasing Steve Smith before the auction

Smith's ban is set to end on March 29.

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Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 12th season took place in December last year. Even before the event, the franchises had released the list of retained and released players. Rajasthan Royals also had let go of quite a few big names and retained the likes of Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes among many. However, it is being understood now that the franchise had earlier considered releasing the former Aussie captain Smith and buy him again at the auction.

Smith’s career has been marred due to the infamous ball-tampering scandal in March last year. He along with the other two cricketers have been banned by Cricket Australia (CA) since then. His suspension ends on March 29 this year and will be soon available for his franchise. They had retained him for a whopping amount of Rs 12 crores last year and then the cricketer was banned.

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Smith was unhappy

Steve Smith’s limited availability during the IPL due to international commitments and World Cup had made the Royals think of releasing him. However, they were intent on buying him back as well which would’ve saved them a few crores clearly. The franchise did the same with Jaydev Unadkat and saved them a fair amount of Rs 3 crores.

Though according to the reports in Mumbai Mirror, Steve Smith was unhappy when he was told about the same which is understandable as it would’ve have been some embarrassment for one of the best batsmen in World cricket at the moment. Despite being retained, it looks unlikely that Smith will be made the captain of the Royals and Rahane might continue to lead them in the upcoming season.

The Australian cricketer is currently in Bangladesh to participate in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) for the Comilla Victorians.

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