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Kane Williamson appointed SRH captain for IPL 2018

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, will lead SunRisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2018, the franchise announced on Thursday (March 29). The decision comes in the wake of the recent ball-tampering controversy that led to bans for David Warner and Steven Smith from the 11th edition of IPL.

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"I've accepted the role to stand in as captain for this season," Williamson was quoted as saying by SRH on Twitter. "It's an exciting opportunity with a talented group of players. I look forward to the challenges ahead."

Australia vice-captain Warner, along with skipper Smith, were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia for being part of the "leadership group" complicit in Cameron Bancroft's ball-tampering act which was caught on camera during the third Test against South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town.

Following Cricket Australia's ruling on the players, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, in consultation with the BCCI's acting president CK Khanna, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla and BCCI's acting Hon. secretary Amitabh Choudhary, decided to bar the duo from participating in the 2018 edition of the IPL.

Warner and Smith had earlier stepped down from their leadership positions at SunRisers and Rajasthan Royals respectively, with the Jaipur-based franchise appointing Ajinkya Rahane as their skipper in place of the beleaguered Australia captain. Both franchises are yet to name the respective replacements for the banned Australian duo.

The New Zealand batsman made his IPL debut against Chennai Super Kings in the 2015 edition, and has since played 15 games, scoring 411 runs including three fifties, at an average of 31.62, with a strike rate of 129.25.