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Saturday 4 July 2020

IPL 2018: Klaasen replaces Steve Smith in Rajasthan Royals squad

The 26-year-old Klaasen recently made his international debut against India in the 50-over format and picked up the Man-of-the-Match award in his second ODI

New Delhi: Heinrich Klassen, the South Africa wicket-keeper who made his limited-overs debut in the series against India, has replaced Steve Smith in the Rajasthan Royals side for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.


The BCCI today approved Klaasen as the replacement for former Australian skipper Steve Smith in the Rajasthan Royals team for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League.

Smith, who was chosen to captain Rajasthan Royals, was barred from playing the upcoming edition after Cricket Australia (CA) banned him for a year following the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa last month.

“The wicketkeeper batsman was picked for INR 50 lakh from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP) list,” BCCI stated in a media release.

“I am thankful to the Rajasthan Royals for giving me this opportunity and making me part of the squad. It would be my first IPL and in fact my first ever visit to India so I am really excited to be teaming up and sharing the dressing room with some great names. I have made it my mission to ensure my performance makes a large impact for my team in the tournament,” said Klaasen.

On Saturday, Rajasthan Royals head of cricket Zubin Bharucha had indicated that the franchise wanted to target Klassen for the way he handled the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the limited-overs series against India earlier this year. Virat Kohli’s side had won the ODIs 5-1 and the T20Is 2-1.

“Klaasen is an amazing player of spin. He has a vast array of shots, which tempted us to go for him. He plays the reverse sweep very well,” Bharucha had said.

The 26-year-old was included as a replacement for Quinton de Kock and he played some crucial knocks. Klassen slammed 43 to help South Africa win the Pink ODI in Johannesburg but his major contribution came in the Twenty20 in Centurion, when he blasted 69 off 40 balls, including three fours and seven sixes to help South Africa chase down 189 with six wickets to spare. He has so far played four ODIs and 3 T20 Internationals.

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