Australian cricketer Steven Smith had been serving the Rajasthan Royals camp since the 2014 edition of the tournament. However, batting sensation Steve Smith was among the 57 players to be released by all Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises ahead of the IPL auction.
Cricket Australia’s Impending NOC Approvals Hangs Players IPL 2021 Participation Fate
In the latest edition (IPL 2020), Smith led the Rajasthan franchise to their worst-ever seasonal outing. Rajasthan Royals have star players like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Butler where the team management would be expecting much more since they’re probable match winners as we’ve seen in the past.
Steven Smith failed to play any crucial knocks in the IPL 2020 and was seemingly quite not in touch. Smith has been one of the most valuable non-Indian players in IPL, as he was retained by the Rajasthan Royals franchise for ₹12.5 crores (US$1.8 million) in the previous season.
Even though the IPL-bound Australian cricketers are sweating over their participation in the 14th edition of the cash-rich league, likely to be held in India in the second week of April, players’ agents have indicated that unless there are injury concerns, there should not be an issue in granting NOCs as the event will be organised during CA’s official break.
“We have, obviously, got precedent on that from the IPL last year. We have got, obviously, the IPL, if you like, (has) proven its bio-security protocols,” CA interim CEO Nick Hockley was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
A total of 19 Australian players participated in the recent IPL which was held in a bio-secure environment in the UAE due to the pandemic. But nine Australian players, including white-ball captain Aaron Finch, Smith and Glenn Maxwell have been released by their respective franchises and will be up for grabs in the February 18 IPL auction.
It is yet to be decided that IPL 2021 to be played in Indian soil or will be arranged again in Dubai. The event is expected to be played in a stringent bio-secure environment with the matches confined to a limited number of venues. IPL season is expected to be started around the second week of April 2021. Indian fans are hoping the matches to be held in India.