Steven Smith has expressed his delight to be back at Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming Indian Premier League. The Australia skipper was the only player retained by the inaugural winners of the league on Thursday (January 4).

Smith, who began his career in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010, was bought by Rajasthan Royals for $600,000 in 2014. He was given the captaincy of the Royals in the latter half of the 2015 season, and he fully justified the decision by leading the team to the playoffs.

However, the association came to an end when the franchise was suspended in 2015 for a couple of years due to the corruption charges.

Smith played for Pune in the last two seasons (Credits: BCCI)

In 2016, he was bought by Rising Pune Supergiant and had gone on to lead them to the finals of the league last year. The 28-year old will now be once again plying his trade for the Rajasthan-based outfit, and he is excited to be back with the side.

“I am really excited to be standing by the Rajasthan Royals in this season of the IPL. It’s a great franchise with great people around. I loved playing for them in the past, and I am looking forward to once again joining the team and making a big difference in the IPL this year,” Smith said.

Manoj Badale, the co-owner of the franchise, also sounded delighted with Smith’s return and welcomed him.

“We welcome Steve Smith on board. His presence will mean a lot to the team as we look forward to a fresh beginning and a successful season. Steve has been with the Royals in the past and has done a fantastic job,” Badale said.

Smith has one IPL century and five fifties to his name (Credits: BCCI)

Currently the number one Test batsman in ICC rankings, Smith has so far played 69 games, scoring 1703 runs at an average of 37.02 with one century and five half-centuries.

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