Australia bad boy Steve Smith DROPPED by Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals after another ‘cheating’ controversy during India Test series when he was caught on camera scuffing Rishabh Pant’s mark
- Smith, 31, was captain of the Royals but has been replaced by Samson
- He caused uproar on the subcontinent by scratching away Pant’s batting guard
- Smith’s £100,000 contract for the delayed Hundred competition is under threat
Australia batsman Steve Smith was released by Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.
It came a week after Smith, who was captain of the Royals, caused uproar on the subcontinent by scratching away Rishabh Pant’s batting guard during the ill-tempered third Test between Australia and India.
The stump camera seemed to show Smith, who was not directly visible but his jersey number of 49 was, removing Pant’s guard during a drinks break on day five of the drawn game in in Sydney.
Steve Smith was released by Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday
Pant – who went on score 97 from 118 balls – came back to the crease after the break and was seen searching for his guard and after being unable to find it, he had to ask the umpire.
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag and Sportsmail’s David Lloyd were among those to voice their displeasure at his actions.
Australia coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine both later defended Smith amid accusations of gamesmanship.
Stump camera picked up Smith appearing to scuff up the batsman’s guard mark with his boots
Smith was in more controversy three years after the Sandpapergate ball-tampering scandal
India had the last word by pulling off an astonishing run-chase to triumph by three wickets in the fourth Test at the Gabba in Brisbane and claim a 2-1 series win.
It was the latest controversy to hit the former Aussie captain after he was banned by Cricket Australia for one year in March 2018 for the part he played in the Australian ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
There was more bad news on Tuesday after it emerged that Smith’s £100,000 contract for the delayed Hundred competition is under threat, after Welsh Fire offered Jonny Bairstow one of the top-bracket slots belonging to Smith and Mitchell Starc.
Rajasthan Royals decided against renewing the contract of their high-profile captain
The England trio of Jofra Archer — the IPL’s reigning MVP — Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler have all been retained, but their international colleague Tom Curran was released ahead of next month’s auction.
Meanwhile, Azeem Rafiq’s employment tribunal hearing has been set for February 18 in Leeds.
Rafiq is taking legal action against Yorkshire for harassment and discrimination on the grounds of race, and claiming victimisation and detriment as a result of his efforts to address racism at the club.
The preliminary hearing will set out the schedule for the case, which is separate to a club-launched independent inquiry.