IPL 2018: The BCCI on Monday officially approved South African wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen as the replacement for former Australian skipper Steve Smith in the Rajasthan Royals team for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League. Smith has been barred from this year’s IPL after Cricket Australia banned him for one year for his involvement in the ball-tampering controversy during the third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.
“The wicket-keeper batsman was picked for INR 50 lakh from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP) list,” BCCI stated in a media release.
The 26-year-old Klaasen recently made his international debut against India in 50-over format and picked up the Man-of-the-Match award in his second ODI. He then made his debut in the shortest format of the game in the following three-match T20I series. He has so far played four ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
Rajasthan Royals will play their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Just like Smith, SRH’s David Warner was banned too for ball-tampering. Warner also has been handed a year-long ban and will not play for Hyderabad this season. Warner has been replaced by Alex Hales while have named Kane Williamson as the captain of the team.
Warner’s absence is likely to hurt Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was an inspirational leader and was the leading run-getter for Sunrisers Hyderabad with 641 runs. Gautam Gambhir of Kolkata Knight Riders was second best with 498 and Shikhar Dhawan (SRH) third best with 479.
Rajasthan Royals full squad: Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D’Arcy Short, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.