Rajasthan Royals have named South Africa wicket keeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen as a replacement for former Australian skipper Steve Smith for the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), beginning April 7.
Smith was due to lead the Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming edition of the T20I lucrative league, but he was banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being imposed a 12-month suspension by the Cricket Australia for his involvement in ball-tampering scandal that took place during the four-match Test series against South Africa.
Considered as one of the few South African players to have managed to cope with Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, Klaseen has been bought at his base price of Rs 50 lakh after being went unsold at the IPL Players Auction that took place in Bengaluru in January , ESPN cricinfo reported.
Klaseen, who made his international debut for South Africa against Indian in February, has a strike rate of 146 after 44 innings in the shortest format of the game.
Rajasthan Royals are slated to begin their IPL campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the opening match on April 9.
The updated squad of Rajasthan Royals is as follows:
Ajinkya Rahane (capt), D’Arcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Aryaman Birla, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra, Heinrich Klaasen, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Jatin Saxena, Mahipal Lomror, Zahir Khan, Shreyas Gopal, Midhun S, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dushmantha Chameera, Ben Laughlin.