x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rajasthan's Smith not sure of fate

'The information we're receiving from the Royals is very different from what's been portrayed in the media,' the South African said.

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, is "confused" by developments in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after his team, the Rajasthan Royals, were one of two franchises dropped from the tournament.

The Royals and the Kings XI Punjab were ejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who said that the two had breached the rules on ownership.

The two sides had taken part in all three previous seasons in the lucrative Twenty20 competition. The Kochi franchise, hoping to join the league in 2011, was also ordered by the BCCI to resolve an ownership dispute or face expulsion.

Smith, who is with his South Africa team ahead of a three-match one-day series against Zimbabwe which begins today, has been a key figure in the Rajasthan ranks alongside Shane Warne, the captain and former Australia spinner.

"The information we're receiving from the Royals is very different from what's been portrayed in the media," Smith said. "It is confusing. We've had contact from them, but it will probably change again.

"But that's the nature of what's been happening in the last six months, everyone is just sitting back and waiting to see what happens with the IPL and where it's going. As players, we're just trying to keep our noses clean and stay out of it."

The Proteas captain played a key role when the Royals won the competition in 2008, scoring 441 runs.

The league has been facing a crisis ever since the conclusion of the third IPL tournament earlier this year when Lalit Modi, the chairman, was suspended by the BCCI for alleged financial irregularities.

Smith added: "It's not great for sport, especially for a tournament that's made as big an impact as this.

"You want to see it progressing and going from strength to strength."