IPL 2019: Steve Smith eases into captaincy after ball-tampering ban

Smith stood down as captain in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket last year.

Smith was named captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals, taking over from Ajinkya Rahane.   -  IPL

Steve Smith, on Saturday, returned to captaincy for the second time since the ball-tampering incident in the Newlands Test in March last year. Smith was named captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals, taking over from Ajinkya Rahane. Earlier this year, Smith had captained Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Smith and David Warner stood down as captain and vice-captain in the aftermath of the scandal that rocked Australian cricket.

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As per the sanctions handed to the trio by Cricket Australia, Smith was suspended for 12 months from all international and domestic cricket. CA had clarified at the time that Smith and Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions until one year after the end of their ban (March 29, 2019).

Smith's captaincy ban only applies to Australian international matches. He will leave for Australia on May 1 for its World Cup camp.

The ball-tampering scandal, known as Sandpapergate, also saw Cameron Bancroft being handed a nine-month ban. Bancroft is currently leading Durham in the English County Championship.