IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) is making their return back into the IPL fold for the upcoming 2018 season. RR along with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was suspended for two years due to the involvement of their officials in spot fixing scandal in 2015.
Steve Smith was first bought by Rajasthan Royals in the 2014 IPL auction for $600,000.
Steve Smith has also previously captained the franchise in the latter half of the 2015 season and took the team to the play-offs. This was before Smith took up Australia's captaincy.
"Steve Smith is already a modern great. Given he was a Royal before embarking on this journey, we are elated to have him back. We feel his winning attitude and innovative skills will be an integral part of the Royals resurgence”, added Zubin Bharucha, Director of Cricket ,Rajasthan Royals, on retaining Smith before the auction.
Smith had captained Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017 and led them to the finals of the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals announced their comeback in a big way by retaining Steve Smith in the pre-auction player retention. Royals then ditched their image of frugal spenders in auctions by buying two of the most expensive buys in the IPL 2018 auction in Ben Stokes for Rs.12.5 crores and Jaydev Unadkat for Rs. 11.50 crore.
RR also retained Ajinkya Rahane using their RTM card and had three very good options for captaincy. Rajasthan Royals decided to go the TV route, by announcing their captain in a special show on Star Sports. It was the first time any IPL franchise had announced their team captain in such a manner.
RR also procured the services of their IPL 2008 winning captain and coach Shane Warne for IPL 2018, where he will act as the mentor for the team.