Despite missing out on the ODI series against England, Australian batsman Steven Smith will be heading to the UAE to join the Rajasthan Royals camp for the 2020 IPL along with all the other Australian and England Cricketers taking part in the T20 League.
Smith suffered a blow to the head while taking throwdowns in the nets off assistant coach Trent Woodhill. Since then he had to take several concussion tests, even reportedly threw up after a rigorous training session that included sprints and batting against bowlers in the nets.
Ahead of the game yesterday, a Cricket Australia spokesperson had told the Sydney Morning Herald, “Steve is still recovering from a concussion sustained last week. He has made some progress but has not fully recovered so is unavailable for today’s match.”
Smith has a $2.5 million contract as captain of the Rajasthan Royals and he would be intending to fulfill that deal. He will join several of his teammates, including David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, and Josh Hazlewood, as well as English players, on a chartered flight to the UAE on Thursday.
Smith will now be closely monitored by Royals’ doctor Rob Young. CA’s sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris said his medical team will work closely with the Royals. “We have done similar processes before and we will have oversight,” he said.
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Rajasthan Royals head coach Andrew McDonald said he was looking forward to working with Smith. He told the Sydney Morning Herald, “He is really looking forward to that opportunity [of captaining] again. He had a taste of it last year, too, at the back end of the season … he is familiar with most of the playing group.”
“There will be a few guys that we need to get him up to speed on. But he is looking forward to … he does enjoy captaining, he loves being engaged in the game. I am really comfortable we have the right man for the job there and he is really enthusiastic about that. I am sure he will take it up well. He is knowledgeable about the game and he will pick up the flow of captaincy pretty quickly again, I would imagine.”